NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) –Kayla Ratliff, 18, and her mom’s best friend, Angie Deweese, were rushed to University Hospital late Friday night. Deweese is recovering, but the passenger on the motorcycle, Ratliff, died hours after she got to the hospital.
Kayla Ratliff had dreams of being a pastry chef. Her mom, Jessica Ratliff, says she had already settled down with a guy she called the love her life. Jessica said, “She wanted to be with this boy she loved. They love each other more than life itself.”
The family's love of motorcycles might be what tempted Kayla to take a ride on a bike last Friday night while visiting her mom's best friend in New Albany, Ind. The friend, Angie Deweese, was driving the bike and Kayla was the passenger, and yelled some words to her mother as they drove off. Kayla yelled to her mother that she loved her.
The women were only a couple of minutes away. Police say they stopped at the intersection at Charlestown Road and Plantation Drive waiting to make a left turn when a car rear-ended them, throwing both women more than 20 feet into the pavement.
Both women were rushed to University Hospital where Ratliff fought for her life for nine hours, but lost the battle.
Police say the 17-year-old driver of the car said he looked down, taking his attention from the road. It is undetermined why he was looking down, or what he was doing, but police say they are trying to determine if this caused the crash.
For now, Jessica Ratliff regrets that her daughter was not wearing helmet. She says, “It was just a little five minute ride around the block.”
She also waits, without making any quick judgments, to know if her daughter was a victim of distracted driving. There are no charges against the driver at this time, but police are waiting on toxicology results from him while they investigate whether the crash was caused by distracted driving.