Prom night crash: New details on four teens injured as charges upgraded against driver who hit them head on

CENTRAL — Four teenagers are recovering after a serious car accident on Saturday night in Central, which left them in the hospital instead of attending the Central High School prom.

The four teens have been identified by their families as Kade Furr, Mallory Hall, Rylee Vickry and Cameron Patterson.

All four are currently recovering from their injuries. According to their families, Furr miraculously did not sustain any physical injuries. Hall and Vickry suffered some broken bones, while Patterson has a torn tendon.

Charges have now been upgraded for a 33-year-old man accused of hitting a group of four head-on on their way to prom at Central High School.

Erick Melendez, 33, of Hammond, has now also been charged with two counts of vehicular negligent injuring and two counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring. Melendez was nearly three times the legal limit at 0.211 when officials say he crossed the median on the Central Thruway hitting the group head-on.

The wreck happened around 8:30 p.m. on May 6, in Central.

The group included four kids who had left their dinner and were headed to prom for Central High School. The injured include high school children, two boys and two girls. Unfiltered with Kiran has learned two of the children have now been released from the hospital.

Officials say the four were in a 2005 4Runner headed north on Central Thruway and had just passed Hamilton Ave. That’s when Melendez, who was driving a 2012 Ford Explorer, crossed over the median hitting the 4Runner head-on.

One of the boys and one of the girls had to be extricated out of the vehicle. The girl was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

The Explorer flipped but the driver is okay.

Melendez is also facing his original charges of operating while intoxicated (second offense), reckless operation of a vehicle and driving without a license.

NOTE: Due to Act No. 494 passed in 2022, Melendez’s mugshot cannot be released to the public.

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