Man charged with driving drunk, hitting Mooresville student near busy crossing
MOORESVILLE, IND. (WISH) — Mooresville police on Tuesday arrested an Indianapolis man and charged him with driving while intoxicated into a 15-year-old Mooresville High School student trying to catch the morning bus.
Michael Simpson, 35, was charged with causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and possession of paraphernalia, according to online court records.
Online records on Wednesday showed no scheduled initial hearing in Morgan Superior Court 3, and showed Simpson has been released on bond from in the Morgan County jail in Martinsville. Jail records on Tuesday night said Simpson was being held on a $4,000 bond and $1,205 cash.
Chief Kerry Buckner of the Mooresville Metropolitan Police Department said Tuesday the crash happened about 6:50 a.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of North Indiana Street. The girl who was struck has not been named.
Court documents obtained Wednesday say Simpson was driving a white Chevrolet Impala. Simpson told police he was driving southbound about 20 mph and did not see the girl “until she darted out in front of him.” He also told police he had not smoked marijuana or consumed alcohol Tuesday morning.
The police chief told News 8 on Tuesday, “The vehicle was traveling southbound on Indiana Street from County Line Road, and the student was crossing the street to arrive at her bus stop because her bus was there with the flashing yellows on and it was coming up to a stop.”
Buckner says Simpson did not yield to the flashing yellow lights on the bus or the student in the street. The stop arm was not yet deployed because the bus was not fully stopped.
“She had multiple contusions and abrasions and some head trauma. She was transported to Riley (Hospital for Children in Indianapolis). Initially, she was in a stable but serious condition,” Buckner said Tuesday.
The girl was believed to have suffered a fracture, possibly to the pelvis or hip.
One neighbor tells News 8 she saw the car after the crash, and the front bumper and the roof each was dented.
Neighbors also say the intersection of North Indiana Street and County Line Road is considered one of the most dangerous four-way stops in the area. Simpson in believed to have driven through that intersection just 300 feet before the girl was hit.
Buckner said, “They did a portable breath test, and he tested 0.12, which is fairly high. (A rate of) 0.08 is the limit here in Indiana. He also had some paraphernalia indicating he may have been smoking marijuana.”
Court documents say a dark-colored pipe was partially visible in Simpson’s front, right pocket, and another broken pipe was found later in a search of the car.
Before being charged, Simpson was given a blood test for drugs and alcohol at a hospital.
“The prosecutor in Morgan County is a fairly aggressive prosecutor and he has pretty much a zero tolerance on operating while intoxicated, especially when you are running over kids trying to get on the school bus,” Buckner said.
Court documents say police used video footage from a Mooresville school bus in their investigation. The video shows the girl walking into Indiana Avenue and being struck by the Impala and vaulted into the air, landing between two vehicles. The video also showed the Impala rolling over the girl as it came to a stop.
The police chief noted a crossing guard is still recovering after being hit by a car in Mooresville earlier this year.
“It’s concerning. I mean, I have kids, my officers have kids that ride the school bus and it’s very concerning,” he said. “If people don’t use caution for a school bus, we have to take care of our kids.”