Thorntown farmer fatally injured in crash with truck

A Thorntown man is on life support as a result of injuries sustained when the tractor he was driving was struck by a truck Tuesday afternoon.

Sources told The Lebanon Reporter that his injuries were too substantial to survive and he was being kept on life support until his organs could be harvested.

According to a release from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, at about 2:20 p.m., Joseph Garst, 66, was driving an Allis Chalmers tractor southbound on U.S. 52 near County Road 700 North when he was struck from behind by a box truck.

The truck, driven by Jamar Odom, 29, of Indianapolis, struck the tractor for an unknown reason, causing it to leave the roadway and come to a rest on the grassy shoulder.

Garst was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis in critical condition.

BCSO Public Information Deputy Ken Conley said Garst appeared to have several serious injuries, as the open cab tractor offered little protection from the force of the accident.

Odom was examined at the scene and released by medics.

Conley said the accident is still under investigation. He said neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor at this time.

Conley encouraged motorists to watch for tractors and other farm machinery, being mindful that they travel at slow speeds and need a wide berth due to their size.

“At this time of year, with all of the planting going on, you need to be aware of them,” he said.

He noted that tractors are allowed to be on any roadway with the exception of interstate highways.

Follow reporter Leeann Doerflein on Twitter @LeeannReporting for breaking news about Lebanon and Boone County.