A Jackson County man died in a one-vehicle wreck on U.S. 50 near the Lawrence County line.
David Mark Sterling, 58, of Brownstown, was pronounced dead at the scene after his white 1999 Mercury Mountaineer hit a guardrail and rolled, throwing him from the vehicle, according to Officer Adam Nicholson of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
The wreck was reported around 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 12000 block of U.S. 50 West, just east of Superior Road.
Friends described Sterling, a 1974 graduate of Browns-town Central High School, as a good person who will be missed.
“Mark was a classmate … always very nice,” said Debbie Shippee of Seymour. “It’s hard to believe.”
Angie Newberry of Tampico agreed.
“Mark was a friend of our family,” she said. “He was such a great guy. Super friendly and said ‘Hi’ every time I saw him. Always had a smile on his face. He’ll be missed.”
Sterling died of blunt force trauma from the wreck, Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said Tuesday. An autopsy was scheduled to take place Tuesday at Schneck Medical Center.
A standard toxicology report will determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the wreck, Nicholson said.
He said officers responding to a report of a serious accident on U.S. 50 found Sterling’s vehicle about 40 to 50 yards north of the road in a wooded ravine.
Sterling had been traveling east before crashing into a guardrail on the north side of the highway, police said.
Nicholson said the roads were not slick or wet at the time.
Police and first responders tried to help Sterling before ambulance personnel arrived.
U.S. 50 was shut down for about 45 minutes after the crash.
It hasn’t been determined if Sterling was wearing his seat belt. The wreck is under investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
Assisting at the scene were officers Rob Henley, Jesse Hutchinson and Charlie Murphy along with personnel with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and Owen Township Volunteer Fire Department.
A funeral service for Sterling will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Spurgeon Funeral Home, 206 E. Commerce St. in Brownstown. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Friday at the funeral home.