North Vernon, Indiana (1-8-20) -This morning, at approximately 6:30 am, the Indiana State Police, North Vernon Police Department, and Jennings County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle crash just north of North Vernon that claimed the life of a Ripley County, Indiana man.
The initial investigation by Trooper Matthew Holley, Indiana State Police-Versailles Crash Reconstruction Team indicated that a maroon Ford Taurus being driven by Justin M. Rangel (26) Osgood, Indiana was traveling eastbound on the US 50 Bypass, just east of State Road 3. For an unknown reason, Rangel’s vehicle crossed the centerline into the path of a westbound 2013 Mack truck pulling a loaded trailer, being driven by Todd E. Lennartz (49) of Fort Recovery, Ohio.
The vehicles collided nearly head on in the westbound lane of US 50. Both vehicles then skidded into the eastbound lane where they came to a stop. Rangel sustained fatal injuries in the crash. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Jennings County Coroner’s Office. Lennartz was transported to St. Vincent-Jennings Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Toxicology results on both drivers are pending at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
US 50 was closed just east of State Road 3 for nearly four hours for crash investigation and cleanup.
The Indiana State Police was assisted by the North Vernon Police Department, Jennings County Sheriff’s Office, North Vernon Fire Department, Jennings County EMS, Jennings County Coroner’s Office, 31 Wrecker Service, and Lee’s Wrecker Service.