HOPE — A fiery one-vehicle crash at the northeast corner of Schaefer Lake claimed the life of a recently married Hope man early Friday morning.
Jesse James Jackson, 34, died as a result of blunt force trauma to the entire body, Bartholomew County coroner Clayton Nolting said.
The fatal accident on County Road 900E, near the intersection of Lakeshore Drive North, was reported at 4:23 a.m., according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.
It appears Jackson, the vehicle’s sole occupant, veered off the right side of the road before his southbound Chevrolet struck a tree, according to the preliminary investigation.
Jackson was thrown from the car before the vehicle became engulfed in flames, a news release from the sheriff’s department stated.
The accident occurred in the vicinity of a bridge along 900E that crosses Duck Creek just before it empties into Schaefer Lake. While bridges often become icy during cold weather, investigators have not yet stated any contributing factors regarding the fatality.
While the crash was handled by the sheriff’s department, officers from Hope were brought in to assist shortly after 6 a.m. Friday, Hope town marshal Matt Tallent said.
Emergency responders remained until the accident scene was cleared at 7:15 a.m., Tallent said.
It took more than six hours for deputies to locate the victim’s family and release Jackson’s identity.
Tallent said he did not personally know the victim but learned from his staff that Jackson had recently married and fathered a child.
Jackson had previously lived in Ohio and Colorado, according to online records.