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A Jackson County man died and a Bartholomew County man was injured Tuesday in a head-on collision on Seymour’s north side.
John W. “Jay” Gaffney Jr., 34, of Seymour was pronounced dead at the scene, Assistant Police Chief Craig Hayes said Wednesday morning.
An autopsy Wednesday showed Gaffney died of chest injuries, Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said.
Jeremy Booker, 41, of Taylorsville complained of pain and was taken to Schneck Medical Center. He was treated and released, Hayes said.
Gaffney was driving south on State Road 11 near 16th Street when his 2008 Chevrolet collided head-on with Booker’s northbound 2006 Chevrolet, Hayes said.
“One vehicle managed to dodge Gaffney’s oncoming car but not a second,” Wheeler said.
Police reports indicate that Gaffney had not applied his brakes and did not appear to have over-corrected his steering, he said.
“Witnesses were unsure whether he was alert or in control,” Wheeler said of Gaffney.
The cause of the wreck remains under investigation by Detective C.J. Foster.
“At this point, the reason he crossed the center line is unknown,” Hayes said. “Therefore there will be an autopsy to help us determine whether there was a medical explanation for him crossing the center line.”
Based on Gaffney’s age, however, Wheeler said he doubts that a medical problem caused the wreck.
“I would tend to think he either fell asleep or was distracted,” Wheeler said. Police were examining his cellphone records, but the phone was found in his pants pocket, Wheeler said.
Gaffney was on his way home from work at the Toyota Industrial plant at Walesboro where he worked as a welder when the wreck occurred, Wheeler said.
Gaffney leaves behind his wife, Maricia, and three children, according to his obituary.
Cpl. Jason Wynn responded to the report of the wreck at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, along with Lt. Jack Hauer, Sgt. Jack Swindell and officers Brandon White, Devin Cornwell and Chris McCoy.
Traffic was blocked until about 6:30 p.m.
So far this year, four people have been killed in four wrecks in Jackson County. It was the first reported in Seymour.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Carothers said his department has investigated three fatal traffic wrecks this year — one each in May, June and August.
Last year, 11 fatal crashes resulted in 12 deaths in Jackson County, Sgt. Noel Houze of the Indiana State Police said.
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