Truck Catches Fire After Overturning

Chris Francis extinguishes the last flames from Tuesday afternoon's single-vehicle accident on Ind. 13 at CR 400N. The vehicle came to rest in a ditch southwest of the intersection. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union.

LEESBURG – The front cab compartment of a delivery truck caught fire after the vehicle went off the road and overturned Tuesday evening.

The driver of the white 2016 Ford F59, Ian T. Crews, 35, North Webster, suffered minor injuries in the incident that occurred at 4:26 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of North Ind. 13 and East CR 400N, Leesburg. The registered owner of the truck is Wildman Business Group, Warsaw.

Crews stated to the paramedic, who Crews received medical treatment from at the scene, that he was headed north on North Ind. 13, just south of East CR 400N, to his North Webster residence, according to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office report. Crews stated that as he approached EMS B6 Lane, he saw a vehicle attempting to make a left-hand turn in the northbound lane. Crews said he was unable to identify the type of vehicle that was turning left.

Crews stated that when he saw the vehicle stopped to turn left, he swerved to go around the vehicle, overtaking it on the east side of the northbound lane, driving his Ford F59 off the shoulder of the road, the report states. Crews then said he corrected his steering and the F59 came back on to the road and proceeded to the west side of the road, going off the road, down the embankment and into the ditch.

When the F59 went into the ditch, it overturned, coming to rest on the passenger’s side and the front cab compartment of the vehicle caught fire.

When the investigating KCSO officer asked Crews if he could recall the events that occurred prior to the accident, Crews stated to the officer that it was a “blur” to him and that with the “adrenaline running through me,” it was hard to recall the events that had taken place, the report states.

North Webster-Tippecanoe Township Fire Department arrived on the scene just prior to the KCSO officer’s arrival and put out the fire. Crews was entrapped in the vehicle at the time of the accident, but was able to remove the front windshield to get out of the F59 with the help from a witness.

Crews complained of pain due to abrasions on his arms, left leg and pain to the back of his head. He received medical attention from EMS on scene. After receiving medical attention from EMS on scene, Crews signed off on receiving any further medical attention prior to leaving the scene of the accident.

The witness told the KCSO officer that he was headed south on North Ind. 13 when he saw Crews’ vehicle drive off of the east side of the road around another vehicle that appeared to be stopped in the northbound lane. The witness said that, upon Crews’ vehicle coming back onto the roadway, the F59 appeared to be leaning to one side and continued across Ind. 13 to the west side of the road, going off the road and down the embankment before coming to rest on its side in the ditch.

The witness said the F59 caught fire upon coming to rest in the ditch and also said that he ran down to where the vehicle was located and proceeded to make contact with Crews, asking if he was OK. Crews told the witness that he was OK but unable to exit the vehicle. The witness attempted to break out the front windshield to assist Crews in exiting the vehicle. The witness and Crews were able to break the windshield to get Crews out.

The witness also was unsure of what type of vehicle was stopped in the northbound lane prior to the accident that had turned onto EMS B6 Lane.

Damage was estimated at $25,000 to $50,000, the KCSO accident report states.