GREENFIELD — The two drivers who caused the car crash that killed Greenfield’s Ashlea Albertson, 24, are both being charged in her death. Officials with the Indiana State Police released information late Wednesday afternoon saying the drivers of both vehicles were recently arrested on charges related to the crash.
The investigation by the Indiana State Police-Versailles Crash Reconstruction Team indicated that on August 18 a black 2016 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Austin Cooper, 22, from Austin, Indiana at the time of the crash, was traveling northbound in the right lane of I-65 near the 48-mile marker. A white 2018 GMC Terrain driven by Albertson’s fiancé, Jacob Kelly, 31, Indianapolis, was traveling northbound in the left lane of I-65 at the same location.
Officials noted evidence from the scene, including video footage captured by another vehicle, indicated the two drivers began accelerating rapidly and refused to allow the other vehicle to pass.
Cooper’s vehicle began to change lanes into the path of Kelly’s vehicle, officials said. Kelly lost control of his vehicle and spun, which resulted in the two vehicles colliding in the middle of the northbound lanes. Kelly’s vehicle rolled, which resulted in his female passenger, Albertson, being ejected from the vehicle. Cooper’s vehicle left the east side of the roadway and came to rest in a field.
Kelly and Albertson were both flown from the scene to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. After arriving at the hospital, Albertson was pronounced deceased. Kelly was treated for injuries and later released from the hospital. Cooper and a juvenile passenger were transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where they were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released.
The post-crash investigation determined the vehicles were traveling next to each other when both drivers accelerated to speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour at the time of the crash. Toxicology results were obtained on both drivers with results of those tests indicating Cooper had THC in his system when the crash occurred.
The results of the investigation were presented to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review. As a result, Cooper was charged with Causing Death when Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Controlled Substance, a Level 4 felony, and Reckless Homicide, a Level 5 felony. Kelly was charged with Reckless Homicide, a Level 5 felony.
On Monday, Kelly was arrested without incident in Indianapolis. On Tuesday, Cooper, now a Morganfield, Kentucky resident, turned himself in at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, Indiana.
Cooper is currently an inmate in the Jackson County Jail while Kelly is listed as a current inmate in the Marion County Jail. Both individuals are expected to have their initial appearances in the Jackson County Circuit Court this week.