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.”