One driver was killed after a two-vehicle crash south of Logansport on Friday morning.

Emergency personnel and officers with the Logansport Police Department were dispatched to the scene in the area of U.S. 35 and west of 18th Street at approximately 1:26 a.m. in reference to a car versus semi crash with the car being on fire.

After officers and deputies arrived, they extinguished the fire.

A preliminary investigation found that 44-year-old Brian Thomas of Monticello was traveling north on U.S. 35 in the south bound lanes of travel. The driver of the semi, Jerry Wayne Wright Jr., 39, Lafayette, was unable to avoid the collision. Wright suffered no injuries.

Logansport Fire Department extricated Thomas and he was then flown from the scene by Lutheran Air to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. Later, Thomas was pronounced deceased.

During the investigation, U.S. 35 southbound lanes were closed for approximately three hours. This investigation is ongoing.

Thomas was born in Logansport and graduated from Lewis Cass High School in 1993 and Indiana University-Kokomo in 2001. He later earned his Master’s Degree from Ball State University.

Thomas was a chemistry teacher and former tennis coach at Rossville High School and had previously taught at Lewis Cass High School where he had served as a tennis coach.

Rossville Consolidated Schools Superintendent Dr. James Hanna responded to the news of Thomas’ death.

“His ability to be around kids was pretty evident and the same way with staff … we have e-sports and I think about every day he would be in there doing e-sports after school or before school starts,” Hanna said.

Hanna also confirmed that the corporation has counselors on hand to work with students and faculty.

“We enacted our school response team and what we do is we bring together our counselors, our administrative staff and then we call — because we’re a small district—we bring others in from the area schools,” Hanna said. “The area schools are really great about providing us their counselors,” Hanna said. “We kind of kept tabs on our kids and if our kids felt like they needed to go home, that happened — with parents approval — or if kids wanted to meet in small groups or with individual staff members or other people here to help, we allowed that to happen.”

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Units assisting the Logansport Police Department Patrol Division included the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Logansport fire Department, Phoenix/Prompt Ambulance Service, Lutheran Air, Cass County Emergency Management, K&K Towing, Martin’s Towing, and Cass County Special Deputies were called in to assist with traffic management.

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