Update 1:15pm July 21st: The identity of the driver killed in this morning's accident has been released by authorities. 62 year-old Joseph R. Kunkel died in the crash on SR 56 in Gibson County.
Original Post: At approximately 2:30am on Saturday, July 21st Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to State Road 56, west of Jack Horrall Road in rural Hazleton, in reference to a single motor vehicle crash.
A 1998 Lincoln passenger car was westbound on State Road 56 when the vehicle left the north side of the roadway striking a tree head-on, fatally injuring the driver. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat-belt with airbag deployment. No skid marks were present at the scene. Hazleton and Patoka White River Volunteer Fire Departments did have to extricate the deceased driver from the motor vehicle.
The identity of the driver has not been released and will be released later by the Coroner's Office. Toxicology results are pending and will be available at a later date. The investigation is ongoing by the Sheriff's Office and the Coroner's Office.
This is the eighth (8th) fatality on Gibson County Roadways in the last six (6) weeks.
Investigating Agency: Gibson Co Sheriff's Office
Assisted by: Gibson Co Coroner's Office, Gibson Co EMS, Hazleton-White River VFD, and Patoka-White VFD
SOURCE: Gibson County Sheriff's Office