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Howard County sheriff’s daughter killed in crash, another woman airlifted to hospital

HOWARD COUNTY, Ind.-- The daughter of Howard County Sheriff Jerry Asher died in a two-vehicle crash Monday night.

The crash occurred around 10:30 p.m. just west of the U.S. 31 bypass. Jordan Asher, 21, was driving a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix northbound on U.S. 35 near County Road 80 West. Jennifer Eastwood, 48, of Logansport, was driving a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound on U.S. 35. For whatever reason, their vehicles collided head-on.

Howard County Coroner Steve Seele pronounced Asher dead at the crash scene.

Crews extricated Eastwood from her Jeep and flew via medical helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital. Her current condition is unknown.

Eastwood is being tested for OWI, which is a standard procedure for all deadly crashes.

Detectives were at the scene for most of the night, but they plan to return once the sun rises. Police say they want to take their time with the investigation.

We asked if they consider this portion of the road on 80 West and dangerous. Police said the road is too new and there's not enough data yet for it to qualify as a dangerous road.

Along this turn on U.S. 35, sits a row of crosses, lined up to honor the young lives lost.  In November, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old died in a car crash when an intoxicated driver crossed the center lane.

"It's like a gut punch," Sgt. Tony Slocum of Indiana State Police said. "I just think of this young lady who's a quality person like her dad is and had so much to achieve in her life and to have it cut short in a crash is just heartbreaking."

It's an area drivers say is a known problem spot.

"You don't know until you hit it there's a spot in it that will throw you into the other lane," said Dee Sutherin, a local resident.

"We're aware there could be a problem," added Slocum.

INDOT is responsible for US 35. They're not looking at changes to this road. A traffic engineer says INDOT re-tests areas of deadly crashes every six months. Then, INDOT determines if they could make safety changes.

"We don't want to knock on someone's door and tell them their loved ones aren't coming home," said Sgt. Slocum, "We'll write a ticket if we have to. But this particular incident, they're just two very different things. Sometimes lightning just strikes twice."

Asher was a student at IU Kokomo. She was a senior English major. The school sent the following message to students and staff Tuesday:

I deeply regret to inform you that one of our students, Jordan Asher, passed away following a car crash last night. Jordan was a senior English major. Please keep her family and loved ones in your thoughts and/or prayers. This terrible news will have devastating ripple effects on our community of care and I urge you to take care of each other during this difficult time. Please refer students to our counseling services. They can stop by KC 210 or call (765) 455-9203.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office also released a statement:

Sadly, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office has experienced numerous tragedies over recent years. However, one thing remains consistent and that’s the unwavering support of the community in times of mourning. We ask that you give the Asher family time to process, grieve and mourn during this most difficult of times and with the privacy and respect that is warranted.

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