Local Papa John’s holds fundraiser for Madison, Indiana crash victims

Local Papa John’s holds fundraiser for Madison, Indiana crash victims

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One look at the cash register at the Papa John’s Pizza on Harry Nichols Drive in Madison, Indiana would give it away that Tuesday’s lunch rush wasn’t ordinary.

It looked, felt and sounded different.

Two donation bins sit on the counter of the Papa John's in Madison, Indiana. On Tuesday, the restaurant pledged 20 percent of their proceeds to the families of Brooklyn James and Tyler Cooley.
Two donation bins sit on the counter of the Papa John's in Madison, Indiana. On Tuesday, the restaurant pledged 20 percent of their proceeds to the families of Brooklyn James and Tyler Cooley. (Source: Courtesy: WAVE 3 News)

The phones rang off the hook. Pizza pies were going out faster than they could go in the oven. All that action happening because of two buckets that sat on the front counter, filling up with cash for Brooklyn James and Tyler Cooley.

PREVIOUS STORIES

“It’s just the natural thing to do," Papa John’s area supervisor Lance Lehman said. "So today, we’re giving 20 percent of the proceeds to the families. We’ll split it up between the two of them and hopefully it’ll help.”

Lehman hopes it’ll help the families heal, after James and Cooley were killed in a wreck on Thursday night. On Tuesday, the crash site was filled with a memorial of flowers, crosses and balloons for the two teens gone too soon.

While the community mourns, investigators continue to dig deeper on what happened Thursday afternoon.

The Jefferson County, Indiana prosecutor told WAVE 3 News on the day of the crash, Madison Police saw the car swerve and followed them. The prosecutor said the teens swerved again, prompting the officers to continue following. Then, officers noticed the car’s left brake light and turn signal didn’t work. At that moment, officers turned their lights on and tried to pull the teens over.

The prosecutor also told WAVE 3 News dashcam video from an Indiana State Police car appears to show both a Madison officer and a state trooper following correct protocol during the pursuit.

WAVE 3 News is still trying to obtain a copy of the Madison Police Department’s standard operating procedures.

While the investigation continues, the community in Madison continues to show support for James and Cooley.

“When something happens, it’s good to know that you have community that’s going to stand and back you up," store general manager Kim Wilder said.

Wilder also told WAVE 3 News she hoped the donations from Tuesday’s fundraiser could help cover Cooley’s and James’ funeral expenses.

Funeral arrangements for Cooley can be found here, and arrangements for James can be found here.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.