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[ISP] Jasper County Correctional Officer Involved in Crash
Start Date: 10/22/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/22/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

Jasper County-Indiana State Police was dispatched to a crash on State Road 14 (approximately 3 ½ miles west of State Road 421) in Jasper County, at approximately 1:17 p.m., this afternoon, where a semi marked Jasper County police car and a pick-up hit head on.

Preliminary investigation by Senior Trooper Marty Benner revealed that a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, which is a semi-marked (no top lights) Jasper County Sheriff Department police car, driven by Joe Kopanda, 60, of Wheatfield, a nine year veteran of the Jasper County Correctional Division, was east bound on SR 14 when it came upon some slower moving grain trucks.  The police vehicle went into the west bound lane to see if it could pass safely but due to the weather conditions (raining) and visibility failed to see a 2004 GMC Canyon pick-up that was west bound.  The police vehicle and the pick-up hit head on.

The driver of the pick-up, Dennis W. Flippo Junior, 53 of Rensselaer, was taken to Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer for complaint of pain.  He was wearing a seat belt.

Kopanda had to be extricated from his vehicle and was taken to Jasper County Hospital with lower leg and rib injuries. He will be transported to Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette.  He was also wearing a seat belt.

Kopanda was transporting a prisoner at the time of the crash to Pulaski County Jail.  The prisoner was seated in the back seat prisoner compartment and was not wearing a seat belt.  They were also taken to Jasper County Hospital with a serious head injury and later air lifted to Carle Hospital in Champaign, Illinois.  Name of the prisoner is Tracy VanWienen, 35 of Lafayette.  Family has been notified.

Assisting: Master Trooper Rick Hudson Reconstructionist, Jasper County Sheriff Department, Prompt Ambulance, Francesville and Medaryville Fire Departments

Contact Information:
Name: Sergeant Ann Wojas
Phone: (219) 690-0029
Jasper County Crash
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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