Blackford County Coroner Zach Crouch late Friday confirmed the children — later identified as Justin Cook, 6, and Raelynn Cook, 5 — were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, about a mile east of Ind. 3's intersection with Ind. 18.
The children were passengers in an eastbound pickup truck — driven by their father, Robert A. Cook, 37, Montpelier — that reportedly crossed the center line on the state highway and collided with a westbound semi-tractor trailer.
After the collision, the pickup truck caught on fire. Chief Deputy Jim Heflin and neighbors extinguished the blaze with fire extinguishers, according to a new release.
Robert Cook was seriously injured, and was flown by medical helicopter to a Fort Wayne hospital. The driver of the semi — Jason Long, 43, Corgan Station, Pa. — was not injured.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Authorities said Robert Cook's pickup truck had earlier crossed the center line and nearly collided with a passenger car before it traveled into the path of the semi.
Autopsies were conducted Saturday at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. Crouch said the children — whose mother lives in Muncie — died as ...