MANHATTAN -- A single-vehicle accident on U.S. 40 in Washington Township early Friday morning killed a Clay County man and left three passengers with minor injuries.
Darrel E. Meaden Jr., 30, Brazil, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was ejected from the pickup truck as it rolled multiple times.
Personnel from the Washington Township Fire Department, Putnam County Operation Life and the Putnam County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the scene just east of Manhattan at 5:12 a.m. The first deputy arrived at 5:21 a.m.
The 1998 Ford F150 was occupied by four individuals and had been eastbound on U.S. 40 when it left the travel portion of the roadway.
After leaving the south side of the road, the truck crossed a grass shoulder and struck an earth embankment, causing it to go airborne.
Upon returning to the ground, the vehicle rolled at least three times, striking trees and brush before coming to rest on its passenger side.
Meaden was ejected as the vehicle was rolling and was found just west of the truck's final resting point. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Thomas Miller.
The three passengers told deputies that Meaden was texting on his cellular phone and missed a slight curve when the vehicle left the road.
One female passenger was transported to Putnam County Hospital by Operation Life for minor injuries. The other two male occupants were taken to St. Vincent Clay Hospital by a personal vehicle for treatment of minor injuries.
All four occupants resided in Brazil and were on their way to their place of employment in Greencastle.
Sheriff's Department Lt. Dwight Simmons served as investigating officer. He was assisted at the scene by Sgt. Craig Sibbitt, Deputy Adam Hull and Col. Tom Helmer.