COLUMBIA CITY — The Indiana State Police is currently investigating a single-vehicle accident that claimed the life of a Columbia City man. The crash occurred on Old Trail Road, just east of CR 300E, which is just northeast of Columbia City in Whitley County.
At approximately 7:15 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6, Master Trooper Todd Reed responded to a reported vehicle accident on Old Trail Road, approximately a quarter mile east of CR 300E. Arriving on scene within a minute, Reed found a Ford Crown Victoria passenger car overturned on the south edge of the road with two people entrapped and seriously injured. Master Trooper Aaron Cook arrived immediately thereafter.
Due to the extensive nature of the vehicle damage, the troopers were unable to provide immediate medical assistance. Fire rescue units arriving on scene a short time later were able to extricate the male driver, Donnie Jackson, 30, Columbia City, who was then flown by Samaritan helicopter in serious condition to Parkview Hospital, Fort Wayne. A male passenger, Dakota Messmann, 23, Columbia City, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Whitley County Coroner. Messmann’s immediate family members have been notified of his death.
Master Trooper Reed’s initial investigation of the crash revealed that Jackson was operating a 2007 Ford passenger car, traveling east on Old Trail Road from CR 300E. Immediately prior to the accident, Jackson had passed another eastbound vehicle at a high rate of speed while in a no passing zone. For an unknown reason, Jackson’s vehicle left the roadway to the north, overcorrected as he came back onto the road, then lost control and impacted a tree on the south side of the road. Both men were wearing seatbelt at the time of the accident.
Master Trooper Reed was assisted at the scene by Master Trooper Aaron Cook, Master Trooper Marc Leatherman, Columbia City Fire Department, Union Township Fire Department, Columbia Township Fire Department, Parkview EMS, Parkview Samaritan helicopter, the Whitley County coroner and All-Pro Wrecker Service.
This crash and the causation factors that may have contributed to this incident remain under investigation.