1 dead in head-on collision

Car’s passenger also injured in morning crash with semi on State Street

An Elizabethtown man died after his pickup truck collided head-on with a semi on State Street near County Road 250E.

Michael Parris, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday by Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher.

Fisher said Parris died from multiple trauma to the head and neck.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department deputies Nate Nichols and Leah Burton were sent to the accident at about 5:09 a.m., the sheriff’s department said.

Nichols found Parris unresponsive and trapped in the driver’s seat of a white Ford Ranger truck, deputies said.

A passenger in Parris’ truck, Dystiny Leonard, 26, of Columbus, was standing nearby and told deputies she was injured.

Leonard was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital with unknown injuries.

The semi driver, Timothy Regan, 48, of Rensselaer, told the deputies he was driving the semi eastbound on State Street when the Ford Ranger traveled across his lane and he was unable to move out of the way. Regan told deputies he was not injured.

Leonard spoke with Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Gary Knoef at Columbus Regional Hospital and said as Parris was driving the pickup westbound on State Street, he took his eyes off the road.

Leonard said Parris crossed the median and was unable to get out of the way of the semi before the collision, deputies said.

Sheriff’s department Sgt. T.A. Smith is completing a crash reconstruction of the scene, deputies said.

Deputies closed the road at the accident scene until about 11 a.m. when the road was reopened to traffic, deputies said.

In addition to Lt. Gary Myers and Deputy Jon Lanning, others who assisted at the accident were the Columbus Police Department, Columbus Township Fire Department, Indiana State Police and Columbus Regional Hospital emergency medical services.

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