A Henryville mother who drove her car and two children in front of a CSX train back in June was on drugs, according to the Clark County Prosecutor.
Ericka Fouch was charged this morning with two felony counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, two felony counts of causing a death when operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance and driving with a suspended license.
Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said in a news conference that he has evidence Foutch had taken drugs an hour before the accident and had Marijuana and Meth in her blood when she drove into the path of the train without stopping.
Mull says if convicted of all counts, Fouch could be sentenced to up to 42 years in prison.
Adalynn Noel Fouch, 5, and her brother, Wyatt James Isaac Fouch, 4, were pronounced dead at the scene when the SUV they were riding in was hit by a train on State Road 160 in Henryville.
Ericka Fouch, who was driving the SUV, suffered serious injuries and required surgery following the crash.
On June 28, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash involving a car and a train at the intersection of County Road 160 and Railroad Street in Henryville.
The children were both in the car and emergency personnel found that both had weak pulses and were partially trapped inside the car Fouch was driving, a 2005 Mitsubishi SUV. The children were later pronounced dead before they were able to be removed from the car.
Autopsies of the children listed the causes of death as multiple blunt force trauma injuries. Adalynn also sustained a skull fracture and Wyatt a broken neck.
If you drive after using drugs and cause a collision that kills people, I’m going to come after you. And it’s not going to be to put you in treatment, or put you on probation or to put you in a program – it’s going to be to put you in prison. — Prosecutor Jeremy Mull
Mull says a blood sample drawn at the scene shows Ericka Fouch had Nordiazepam, amphetamine, meth-amphetamine and THC or marijuana in her system.
“The investigation has been ongoing since the collision occurred,” said Mull. “We had been awaiting the results of the toxicology. Upon receiving those I did file these charges because of the results they contained.”
Mull said the investigation revealed that approximately one hour before the accident Fouch did use drugs.
“I know that she had meth and THC which is a result of using marijuana in her system and that as a result of that she has violated these Indiana statutes. These penalties carry a potential 42 years of incarceration. I will say that it is very unfortunate to have to file these charges under these circumstances,” Mull said.
“With this being the mother of the children. I know the family has went through tremendous grief and Ms. Fouch has went through a tremendous amount of grief. I want to be clear – if you drive after using drugs and cause a collision that kills people, I’m going to come after you. And it’s not going to be to put you in treatment, or put you on probation or to put you in a program – it’s going to be to put you in prison. There’s just no excuse in using drugs and getting behind the wheel and causing this type of accident.”
Court documents show Fouch admitted to taking drugs an hour before the accident.
Investigators examined video from the CSX train, which shows the SUV driven by Fouch did not stop before it hit the train. Video and audio show the train was blowing its horn, as it approached the flashing railroad intersection.
Fouch told officers that she did not see or hear the train approaching before the collision. When asked which direction she had been traveling, Fouch told officers “I don’t know which way I was going,” court records show. She was transported to University of Louisville Hospital for injuries.
During the investigation of the crash, it was determined that the car was hit on the passenger side by the train, after which point it became airborne, rotating 180 degrees to the right and hitting the metal switch house by the train tracks on the passenger side before rotating 90 degrees and hitting a telephone pole on the driver’s side.
Video footage from the lead train car recorded that the crossing lights were flashing and the train’s horn sounding. It was recorded at traveling 44 miles per hour through the intersection, which has a speed limit of 49 miles per hour. The train was put in emergency stop mode just after the collision, records show
There are no railroad crossing arms at the intersection where the train collision happened.
Neighbors said at the time of the crash that the crossing needs more than just lights to warn drivers when a train is approaching.