Ball State University student, Blake Taylor, killed in high-water crash in Grant County

19-year-old found dead in car

FAIRMOUNT, Ind. - A Ball State University student was killed when he lost control on a slick road and rolled his car into high water Sunday, police said.

Blake A. Taylor, 19, of Kokomo, was driving back to Muncie on State Road 26 just east of Fairmount on Sunday night when he hit a slick spot and drove his 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix off the road.

Other drivers found the teen's car on its top in about 4 to 5 feet of water.

Officers waded into the water and broke a window of the car to try to get Taylor out, but they could not remove him from the car.

Emergency responders used tow straps to pull the car from the water. They removed Taylor from the vehicle, and EMS crews started CPR and transported him to Marion General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators said they think Taylor drove through standing flood waters on eastbound SR 26, which caused his car to slide across the westbound lane and into the ditch.

Ball State Vice President for Student Affairs Kay Bales says the university extends its sympathies to Taylor's family and friends. She says "the loss of such a young man is especially saddening."

At least 200 people showed up to Taylor's home in Kokomo Monday night to hold a vigil in his memory.

"There wasn't a dull moment ever. He was always cracking jokes and he was just an overall happy person," said Taylor's cousin Kurstin Haworth. "It's just devastating that he was taken from us so early."

Dan Armstrong, athletic director at Northwestern High School, said Taylor was "one of the good ones."

"Great student, multi-sport athlete, never harmed anybody..." Armstrong said. "He just leaves to go back to college and he never makes it."

Even those who never personally knew Taylor have been touched by the tragedy.

"It was awful," said Taylor's former classmate Karlie Mates. "I immediately started to bawl my eyes out, because -- no matter what, even if I knew him or not -- it's just a tragedy. He was just here two days ago and then all of a sudden he was gone on his way back to school." 

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