HARTFORD CITY, Ind. (AP) — An eastern Indiana man has been charged in the deaths of his two young children, with authorities alleging he had drugs in his system when his pickup truck was involved in a fiery crash.
Robert W. Cook of Montpelier faces a dozen felonies, including two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death in the Oct. 2 crash that killed Justin Wayne Cook, 6, and Raelynn Michelle Cook, 5.
Authorities said Cook, 37, was driving a pickup truck on Indiana 18 when it crossed the center line, collided with a westbound semi-tractor trailer and caught fire, killing the children and seriously injuring Cook, the Star Press reported.
Witnesses said Cook’s pickup truck had nearly struck another vehicle before colliding with the semi.
Cook also faces two counts each of reckless homicide and of causing death while driving with a controlled substance in his system, as well as several other drug-related charges.
According to court records, at the time of the crash Cook had marijuana in his system as well as amphetamine — a test result that can indicate methamphetamine use according to court documents.
A message seeking comment on the charges was left Tuesday for Cook’s attorney.