Columbus man, 45, dies heading home on familiar road

A local man died after being ejected from a sport-utility vehicle that had rolled multiple times in western Bartholomew County.

Thomas W. Young Jr., 45, Columbus was pronounced dead at the scene after the 6:27 p.m. Sunday one-vehicle accident in the 12000 block of west Bellsville Pike, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies said.

Young was found in the middle of the road behind his white Chevrolet SUV, which had landed upright on the roadway after it rolled several times, deputies said.

Investigators believe the SUV was traveling eastbound on Bellsville Pike, also known as Grandview Lake Road, when it ran off the roadway to the south, and then to the north side before overturning multiple times.

The area where the crash occurred is a two-lane section of roadway with curves, deputies said.

Young was not believed to be wearing a seat belt, and speed was not believed to be a factor in the crash, deputies said.

Young died of multiple trauma to his neck and head, Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher said.

Young’s family members said he was driving home to the 6000 block of West County Road 250W when the accident occurred. He had just purchased the Chevrolet SUV in the past couple weeks and was trying out new tires that he had put on the vehicle, said Linda Young, his mother.

Young was a self-employed mechanic who loved working on vehicles, mudbogs and race cars, his mother said. He had attended Columbus North High School.

He had visited the Circle K on State Road 58 where Linda Young was working between 5:30 and 6 p.m. and was driving home when the accident happened, his mother said. 

He sometimes took a longer way home to test drive a vehicle he was working on, she said.

“The next thing I knew, I was told he was gone,” she said.

The family is struggling to come to grips with what happened as Linda Young said her son was familiar with the section of roadway where the crash occurred.

“I think that’s what’s so hard,” his mother said. “We can’t figure out what went wrong. He was raised out here. It happened less than five miles from home. He knew these roads.”

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.