Jailhouse Call Cracks Case of Kentucky College Student Killed by Ohio Driver’s Runaway Tire

 Jailhouse Call Cracks Case of Kentucky College Student Killed by Ohio Driver’s Runaway Tire

(Fox News)

An Ohio man’s claim that he was unaware the tire that rolled off his truck may have killed someone was dismantled by a year-old jailhouse phone call dredged up by investigators, police said. Lauren Collins, an 18-year-old rising sophomore studying fashion merchandising at the University of Kentucky, died of her injuries after a runaway tire crossed the concrete barrier on I-75 near the Ohio border, smashing through her windshield just after midnight on July 16, 2023, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

Six days after the crash, 37-year-old Ricky A. Raider reported himself to the Independence Police Department, admitting “he lost a tire on the interstate over the past weekend but didn’t believe his tire had hit anyone,” the office wrote in a June 21 press release.

However, a recording of a phone call between Raider and a female inmate at the Bullitt County Detention Center, about 100 miles away from the police department, obtained by Sgt. Jeff Nagy of the Independence Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Unit painted a different picture of the collision that opened the driver up to criminal prosecution.

The night Collins was killed, Raider told the female caller that a tire had come off his 1993 Ford F-250 earlier in the evening, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office wrote. He told the inmate that he “witnessed the tire collide with Collins’ vehicle” and “knew that the collision likely resulted in someone being hurt or killed.” He said he retrieved the tire, which came to rest along the concrete barrier between the north and southbound lanes, affixed it back to his truck, and fled the scene.

“What he did was he stole lug nuts from other wheels to secure that tire just to get it up the road and off of the interstate,” Maj. Philip Ridgell of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office told Fox 19.

Raider was indicted on charges of leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid with death or serious physical injury and one count of persistent felony offender 1st offense on June 4, the office wrote. He was booked into Boone County Jail on June 12, where he remains on $40,000 bond, according to online jail records. He requested a public defender at his Wednesday court appearance, Fox 19 reported, and his next court date is scheduled for July 24.

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