CASS COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Two men are recovering after a severe crash in Cass County. It happened Saturday morning just before 7 o'clock on Cass County Road 825 West near Cass County Road 250 North.
Indiana State Trooper Chris Miller responded to the scene. He reported that 19-year-old Brady Riley was driving southbound. For an unknown reason, his car went off the side of the road, into a wooded area and hit multiple trees. Police said Riley had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters. He was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital via helicopter with possible broken bones and internal injuries
The passenger in the car was 21-year-old James Hornback. He was ejected from the car and his left leg was cut off below the knee. According to the report, before emergency responders could get to the them, friends of Riley and Hornback used a belt as a makeshift tourniquet. They tightened the belt around Hornback's severed leg to prevent blood loss from the injured limb.
Trooper Miller was the first emergency responder on scene. He also applied a tourniquet to the leg. ISP said the actions of the friends and Trooper Miller possibly saved Hornback’s life. Hornback was also flown to a Fort Wayne hospital for treatment.
Police said the injured men had been at a campfire prior to the crash. When they did not return to the campfire as expected, a group of friends went looking for them. The friends found the crashed vehicle and injured men. The friends are the ones who called 911.
According to the report, neither Riley nor Hornback was wearing a seat belt. Trooper Miller believes their injuries would have been reduced had they been properly restrained.
This is an ongoing investigation. ISP Sergeant Rick Brown and the Royal Center Fire Department assisted Trooper Miller at the scene.
ISP said all of its officers are issued tourniquets as part of their duty gear and that officers train annually on applying them properly.
Photos provided by Indiana State Police.