Written statement released Thursday morning by the Indiana State Police:
DeKalb County, IN- The Indiana State Police is investigating a crash involving a semi-tanker hauling propane that struck a cow in the roadway on State Road 327 late last night in which the driver was seriously injured.
According to Trooper James Bailey, on Wednesday night at approximately 9:30 pm, a 2001 Sterling semi-tractor hauling a fully loaded propane tanker was traveling northbound on State Road 327 near County Road 10. As the semi-tanker crested the hill, the driver, Kevin M. Grate, 52 from Corunna, Indiana observed a cow in the roadway. Despite his efforts, Grate was not able to avoid hitting the cow.
Grate's vehicle then left the roadway, struck a utility pole and went down into a water-filled ditch with the tanker flipped upside down. Grate was pinned inside of the cab until he was extricated by emergency personnel. Although Grate was wearing his seatbelt, he was taken to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne in serious condition with internal injuries which included a closed head injury, fractured rib and a punctured lung. It is believed that the seatbelt prevented even more serious injuries.
There was no leakage of propane and crews have been working throughout the night to remove the tractor, trailer and debris. At this time, State Road 327 is closed in the area and State Highway has placed detour signs accordingly. Assisting at the scene were the Corunna Fire Department, the Ashley Police and Fire Departments, the DeKalb County Sheriff Department and EMS, and the Department of Homeland Security.