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TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — An Indianapolis man died in a Thursday morning crash on Interstate 65 in northern Bartholomew County.

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers says the crash happened around 10 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-65 near the U.S. 31 interchange. That’s near Indiana Premium Outlets.

Photos from the crash scene showed a semi-tanker overturned and debris scattered across the interstate.

James Warren Oden, Jr., 49, of Indianapolis, died at the crash scene from blunt force injuries.

Oden was driving the semi-tanker on I-65 when it struck a car.

The passengers in the car — Blaine Pheral, 21, and Rachelle Pheral, 22, both from Columbus, Indiana — went to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries received in the crash.

The northbound lanes were closed through 4:30 p.m., and drivers on the northbound lanes were rerouted.

TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — An 8-year-old student has been suspended after making a “death list” and showing it to another student on a school bus.

“I was shocked,” said Taylorsville Elementary School parent Renee Hopkins. “I was shocked that it was an 8-year-old.”

The thought of violence at Taylorsville Elementary shook some parents after they found out a student had made a “hit list.” 

“It’s scary,” Hopkins said. “It’s scary no matter whose child it is. It’s scary regardless of what school your child goes to.” 

The incident happened after classes Wednesday. School officials say an 8-year-old student showed a “death list” or “hit list” to another student on the school bus. 

Police were called, and the student was suspended until a meeting can be held with the child’s family.

“I was really in shock,” Taylorsville Elementary parent Sierra Palmer said. “I was wondering, was the kid in my kid’s class? Did he ride the same bus? Because none of that information was released. Which is probably a good thing it wasn’t. I was just really concerned because I don’t let my kids talk like that. I don’t let them think like that. Nothing around my kids like that.”

Like many parents, Palmer was at Taylorsville Elementary on Thursday evening for planned parent-teacher conferences.

Palmer said, after hearing the news, she feared for her son Aiden, who is the same age as the student who made the list.

“That’s one of the first things I asked my wife,” Palmer said. “I was concerned. I was like was Aiden involved? Who was on the list? What happened? Was the kid in his class? What is going on? I need information!”

Parents told News 8 they were impressed with the swift action of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.

“I was really happy the school notified all the parents and suspended the student for what had happened and was taking action prior to even before notifying us,” Palmer said. “They were really on top of it.” 

While the potential threat was caught early, parents worry incidents like this one won’t be the last one.

“I think it’s just a sign of the times,” Hopkins said. “I mean, it seems like they are always hearing about it on the news or through the internet, and sometimes they just think it’s the cool thing to do.” 

Leaders with the Bartholomew Consolidated district have not said when a meeting with parents will happen or what other disciplinary measures the student might face. 

TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — School officials have suspended an elementary school student after he reportedly revealed a threat aboard a school bus. 

The incident happened after classes on Wednesday after an 8-year-old student showed a “death list” or “hit list” to another student on the bus, according to the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation.

Law enforcement was notified immediately and the student was suspended pending a family meeting.

Students continued learning at the school on Thursday.

Officials later sent out a message to families on Thursday in regards to the threat: 

Good morning Taylorsville families!  The safety of our students is our top priority.  Upon receiving a report yesterday involving a threat, we responded immediately.  It was reported that an 8-year old student showed a hit list to another student on the bus after school.  Law enforcement was notified.  The student was suspended until a meeting with family.  Students are safely learning at Taylorsville today.  Thank you for your continued support!

UPDATE: She has been found safe. Original story follows below.

TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A 9-year-old girl was reported missing Thursday night after she failed to return home from a school playground, the Bartholomew County sheriff said. 

Kelsay Manza was last seen around 6:30 and 7 p.m. at the Taylorsville Elementary School playground.

The sheriff said in a Facebook post that the family contacted the Emergency Operations Center once she failed to return home. They discovered she had walked away from the playground.

She was last seen wearing a red and white, long-sleeved top with black leggings.

Anyone with information was asked to call 812-379-1689.

Taylorsville is an unincorporated community about 20 miles southeast of Indianapolis. 

TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Conservation officers and firefighters found the body of a man Sunday whose canoe capsized.

Corporal Jet Quillen with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said that witnesses told officers a man went underwater and did not come back up to the surface after his canoe flipped in the Driftwood River near Taylorsville around 4 p.m. Saturday.

The man has been identified as 27-year-old Siddharth Panicker. He was found just before 11 a.m. in the Driftwood River near where he was last seen. 

The Driftwood River flows from the confluence of the Big Blue River and Sugar Creek to the East Fork of the White River in Columbus, according to the DNR’s website. 

DNR had boats in the water on Saturday searching for the man. The speed and level of water in the river was a concern for divers, so boat-based and sonar searches were being used, Quillen said. 

Bartholomew County water rescue and Franklin Fire Department were assisting in the search. 

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — A kindergartner from Taylorsville is all smiles tonight thanks to the help of some central Indiana law enforcement. 

A few weeks ago, News 8 shared a story about Conner Burton, a 5-year-old aspiring police officer who had his miniature cop car stolen. 

After Conner Burton’s family reported his toy police car stolen, the men and women in blue knew something had to be done. On Tuesday, they made a memory that will last a lifetime. 

The miniature car was all Conner wanted for his birthday last year because he said he one day hopes to be a police officer to help people.

“He’s never the bad guy when we play. he’s always the cop,” said his mom, Brittnee Squibb.

In August, Conner drove his car to the local gas station and his mom walked alongside. They went inside to get Conner candy because he was well-behaved. In three minutes, his toy vanished.   

“When somebody steals your cop car, that’s called rude,” Conner told News 8 a few weeks ago. 

Conner’s family reported it to police immediately. 

“I cried until I fell asleep,” he said thinking about that night. 

As police started investigating they knew something had to be done. 

“Anytime someone is a victim like this in any case you want to help those victims out,” said Chief Deputy Chris Lane from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the case. 

Weeks of planning by the sheriff’s office along with police from Stinesville and Edinburgh led to Tuesday. They surprised Conner with a brand new toy cop car.

The officers said it was donated to them.

Conner and his family went to the sheriff’s office after being told police wanted to ask Conner some questions about the case. He had no idea what was waiting for him. 

“It makes you happy? How happy?” Conner’s mom asked him.

“Super, super, super, super, super, super happy,” he said. 

A small gesture that created a special moment. 

“It’s priceless. it’s priceless,” Chief Deputy Lane said. 

While police said they were happy to put a smile on Conner’s face, they also said the investigation is ongoing to figure out who stole his original toy car. If you have any information, call (812) 376-2600.

TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Columbus man walking back to his crashed car on Interstate 65 died after being struck by a semi tractor-trailer early Monday morning, according to state police.

Investigators believe 27-year-old Justin Mills was driving a silver Toyota Avalon southbound near mile marker 74.5 when the vehicle entered the median and struck the cable barrier. Then Mills walked to the rest area.

When Mills was crossing the interstate back to his car, a box trailer driven by 48-year-old Carlos Zepeda struck and killed him. 

Police say Zepeda immediately stopped and called police; he was injured in the incident. 

Toxicology reports for Mills and Zepeda were pending on Monday night. 

Anyone with information about either of the crashes is urged to call the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post at 812-689-5000.  

TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Two men from Bartholomew County are being hailed heroes after they pulled a woman out of a burning car late Thursday night.

It happened just after 10 p.m. in the 8000 block of North County Road 250 West outside Columbus. And because of Russ Jones and his son, Loren, that driver is going to be OK.

Cars zoom by Russ’s home all the time. Several have hit the power line right in front of his home. So, Jones said, he knew what happened when he heard a deafening boom Thursday night.

“A pop. And a brilliant arch of light,” he said, recalling hearing the car crash from his living room couch.

He and his son go outside to find that car smashed into a downed power line.

“My wife is yelling at me watch the lines, watch the lines.”

A fire had started inside the car.

“Opened the car to see if anyone was in it and about that time we heard somebody pounding,” he said.

Jones said the driver was woozy from the airbag hitting her.

“I said are you OK? And she said, ‘Well I’m hurt.’ And I said, ‘Well. we’re going to have to get you out. The car’s starting to burn,'” he said.

They dragged her out of the car through the back.

“We dragged her out of a really small area between the back seat and the top of the car,” he said.

Russ and his son carried her around the power line away from the car. Within seconds, the car was engulfed in flames, destroyed in just a couple minutes.

“If we hadn’t been home, she would have been in trouble,” he said.

First responders call Jones and his son heroes. But Russ scoffs at that.

So what does he call himself?

“As the rock song goes, ‘I’m just an average ordinary guy.'”

But he still knows if he weren’t there, Friday could have been a day of mourning.

WISH-TV spoke with the driver’s husband. He didn’t want to speak on camera but said his wife is recovering and they are so thankful for the Jones family.

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BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A man received four doses of opiate-antidote naloxone in an attempt to resuscitate him after police say he overdosed in a car at a gas station Tuesday.

According to our partners at The Republic, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a possible overdose at the gas station in Taylorsville.

The multiple doses of the antidote had little effect and the man was transported to the hospital afterward.

The Republic reported that witnesses told deputies the car had been at the gas station for about 45 minutes.

A female had been seen in the vehicle before police were called.

According to deputies, the man’s condition today is unknown.

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BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public in connection with a theft.

Officers are looking information related to a theft that took place at a Taylorsville Circle K convenience store near the intersection of West 650 North and U.S. 31.

If you have any information, no matter how minor, about the male in these photos provided by the sheriff’s office, you are encouraged to contact Detective Jason Williams at 812-565-5928.

All information provided is considered confidential.

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