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Police Find Truck That Hit Family

Last updated on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

(LINTON) - Police say investigators have found the truck that hit and seriously hurt a man and three children as they fished along a gravel road near the Greene Sullivan State Forest outside of Linton.

Mark Stalcup of the Greene County Daily World reports that a Linton man, his nephew and two nieces are hospitalized with serious injuries in Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, local police are seeking a speeding driver witnesses say didn't even slow down after hitting four people on a gravel road near Wampler Lake.

Anyone with information about the driver is urged to contact Deputy Heath Murray at the Greene County Sheriff's Department by calling 384-4411.

Sheriff Terry Pierce confirmed the 2002 GMC Sierra used in the midnight hit and run has been located on State Road 159 near Pleasantville.

Pierce says police obtained a search warrant and the vehicle has been impounded.

"A lady had located a piece of a tire out on a country road. I went out with (Deputy Brad) Deckard and from there we tracked pieces of tire down 159 to near Pleasantville. I found the spot where the tire had completely left the rim and we could see where the gouge marks were in the pavement."

Pierce and Deckard tracked the gouges to the Pleasantville home of Russell Goodman, the registered owner of the truck.

"However, we really don't have a driver at this time," Pierce said.

While Sgt. George Dallaire, another detective working the case, has attempted to contact Goodman, he's received no reply so far.

As police continue to seek a suspect, witnesses who saw their loved ones struck still can't understand why it happened.

Jessica Giles says the family was standing by the guard rail, on the bridge over the creek when they saw the truck, which was traveling really fast coming up on them.

The family shined their flash lights at the driver, but instead of slowing down or swerving the family says the driver sped up and came right at them.

The speeding driver missed Giles by inches. Her fiancee Michael Delp wasn't so lucky. Struck by the speeding truck, Giles was reportedly thrown almost 95 feet.

Giles said, he was hit so hard he was knock out of his tennis shoes. The police found them laying in the creek.

Delp was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. There, he underwent a first surgery for a broken leg, and potentially faces two more, Giles said.

He also suffered a laceration on his spleen and is covered in cuts, bumps and bruises.

Delp's nieces and nephews were also hit by the truck, though it narrowly missed their mother, Delp's sister Veronica Hammond.

All three Hammond children are presently hospitalized for treatment at Riley Children's Hospital.

Blake Hammond, 8, sustained some head trauma during the incident, and could be released today, said Giles.

Danielle Hammond, 10, suffered a broken collarbone after being struck, and remains on a respirator, Giles said. Doctors suggest she could remain hospitalized for at least another two weeks.

Justice Hammond, 11, has undergone surgery on both legs and sustained a broken femur. How long she'll be hospitalized remained uncertain, Giles said.

The truck reportedly struck a guard rail, resulting in damage on the truck's left side as it sped off. The damage left the truck missing an entire front headlight.

No plate description, nor description of the driver, was immediately available, police said.

As the driver sped away, Giles called the Linton Police Department at 12:12 a.m.

Multiple rescue units ranging from the Greene County Ambulance Service to the Linton Fire Department coordinated an airlift which saw not only the usual landing pad enlisted to transport the injured quartet, but also the hospital's parking lot and roof.

The eerie glow of flashing lights filled the parking lot as multiple ambulances set up a triage, quickly treating and transporting the victims from the hospital emergency room.

Charles Misner, a security guard at Greene County General Hospital patrolled the parking lot which had been cleared for one of the three incoming choppers at 1:30 a.m.

Giles said the incident's not soured the family on their favorite fishing spot, suggesting once their recuperation's complete, they may even return. The family fishes there about four times a month.

"Honestly, we probably will go back. But we might not stand in the same spot any more, just go down closer to the creek, I'll tell you that," Giles said.

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