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Man Pleads Guilty In Death Of Teen

Last updated on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(BROWNSTOWN) - A Jackson County man has pleaded guilty in the death of a Seymour teen.

19-year-old Tyler Ross, of Seymour, is scheduled to appear in Jackson Circuit Court to be sentenced on the Class C felony charge of operating a motor vehicle with a Schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood at 1:30 p.m. January 22. A Class C felony is punishable by two to eight years in prison.

Ross was arrested on initial charges of reckless homicide, false informing and operating while never licensed on December 5, 2012, after a crash led to the death of 16-year-old Brooke Elizabeth Hawn.

According to Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler says Hawn, whose body was found in a car after being pulled from White River, died from a combination of trauma, hypothermia and freshwater drowning.

Police say Hawn was not wearing a seat belt.

According to the findings of the Sheriff's Department investigators, excessive speed and reckless driving were key contributing factors in the accident.

Ross told police he was behind the wheel when the Mitsubishi two-door car he and two other teens were in flipped into the East Fork White River northeast of the Shieldstown Covered Bridge.

Ross and a 19-year-old man escaped through broken windows after the crash. Hawn, of Seymour, was found dead inside the car after it was towed from the water.

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