Ball State student killed after car gets trapped in flood waters

GRANT COUNTY – Friends and family remember 19-year-old Blake Taylor as a kind and genuine person who loved to joke around.

Taylor, a Kokomo native, died after police say he drove through standing water and lost control of his car just outside Fairmount in Grant County.

Grant County Sheriff’s deputies say Taylor was headed back to Ball State around 11 p.m. Sunday, heading east on State Road 26 when his car hydroplaned across the road and into a flooded cornfield.

When first responders arrived at the scene about four miles east of Fairmount, Taylor’s car was upside down in standing water off the road.

Officers went into the water and towed the car to the road. Emergency medical crews attempted CPR, but Taylor later died at a Marion hospital.

Officers said there were warning signs posted.

“You can be traveling down a roadway and not even expect it. Even if signs are erected and things just happen,” said Deputy Brent Beebe.

Rod Perry, who lives next to the cornfield where the car was located, said that particular stretch of State Road 26 can be treacherous.

“When it’s dark and you come up over the hill down here, you don’t see the water until you’re right up on it–and about the time you realize it, you’re in it and it’s just too late,” said Perry.

Investigators said Taylor was not wearing a seatbelt when they found him, but couldn’t say if that played a role in his death.

Investigators don’t believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Taylor, a 2012 graduate of Kokomo’s Northwestern High School, was a freshman studying business at Ball State.

Vice President for Student Affairs Kay Bales released a statement on behalf of the university:

“I extend our deepest sympathies to Blake’s family and friends. The loss of such a young man is especially saddening. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.”

14 comments

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >ill determine whether he removed it while attempting to get out of the car or if he was just not wearing it.

    Uh….does it make a mother frakking difference?

  • Mary Kay Kidwell

    Please be kind to this grieving family. My own family knows what they are going through and how difficult this is without insensitive remarks.

    Since my grandson's death in 2007, I have been researching and consulting with experts on vehicle immersion. Our mission is to inform the public (and rescuers) of the most effective method for self-survival (rescue teams seldom arrive in time to save a life).

    What to do if your vehicle goes into water: Wearing your seatbelt is crucial for preventing injury during the initial crash. Once your vehicle settles on the water, release the seatbelt, open or break windows, Get Out! A spring-loaded glass-breaking tool is best for breaking a window; it also has a seatbelt cutter, but this is seldom needed. Other items such as the headrest prongs, rearview mirror, tire tool, etc. are useful tools but are not always at hand.

    Fox 59 has shared the official Indiana State Police video and information. It is also available at http://www.in.gov/isp/2689.htm. Information is also available on my web site: http://sites.google.com/site/getoutaliveorg/. Stay safe.

  • Guest

    So was alcohol involved, or drugs? That's not insensitive, just treating the guy like any other non-college student would have been treated. I think it should have been part of the story. Sometimes, they say it when it is ruled out. At the very least, warn everybody of the right way to view flooding. Don't take chances; if it is questionable whether it is possible to get through, don't do it. Find another route.

  • Amy

    No drugs were NOT involved, it was dark and he came over a hill and didn't have time to stop, the signs were to close to the water. Don't treat everybody's situation the same, he wasn't just another college student. He just so happened to be my nephew.

  • Lisa Woodruff

    No there was no alcohol or drugs involved. People are so quick to judge others. A young life has been taken which happens to belong to my family. Blake was an awesome kid with great parents. I don't really think him being a college student had anything to do with anything??? He had is whole life ahead of him and was making a good life for his future.

  • Anonymous.

    Praying for the family and all of those effected. He was the cousin of a cousin of mine. God bless you all and may he rest in peace.

  • Deb Kolber SB IN

    My heart breaks for this young man and his family. Having traveled those roads many times while our son was a student at Ball State, it is easy to understand how this tragedy could happen in the dark. After experiencing a terrifying hydroplaning experience on US 31 in Rochester, I can vouch that that it happens so fast and you lose all control of the vehicle. I was heading towards a steep drop off and suddenly did a 360 and ended up facing south in the North Bound lane. I cheated death that day and am thankful every day of my life, so please stop judging and assuming things about this young man who was cheated out on the rest of his promising life. God Speed Blake Taylor and to his parents my deepest condolences.

  • Maci

    Blake was one of the best men I have ever met . Blake had a baby face the most beautiful brown eyes and an amazing smile . He was the first one to make you laugh and smile . I love you Blake ! Everyone that had the chance to know you misses you . Rest easy BMFT !

  • tiffany

    this is the sadest thing i have heard. prayers go out to family and friends of blake. i didnt know him, but i cant even think of losing someone close to me. be it friend, or family. he will be missed by many people.
    RIP

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