ANGOLA — Thanks to DNA technology and a quick turnaround time, the man who died in a fiery crash on S.R. 327 Sept. 1 over the Labor Day holiday weekend has been identified.
Steuben County Coroner Bill Harter said the man involved in the single-vehicle accident was Adam L. Stephens, 45, Angola.
Stephens was driving northbound on S.R. 327, north of U.S. 20, when for reasons unknown drove off the west side of the road, striking a tree head on. The tan Ford SUV Stephens was driving burst into flames and he was burned beyond recognition before he could be removed from the vehicle.
Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sept. 1 deputies found the SUV off the west side of S.R. 327 fully engulfed in flames.
Once the fire was extinguished officers found a deceased man inside, who was removed from the vehicle.
The Coroner’s Office has ruled Stephens’ death accidental. Stephens died as a result of a combination of blunt force trauma and full thickness thermal burns.
The preliminary investigation by sheriff’s officers determined that the Ford had been traveling at a high rate of speed before it struck the large tree. The weather was clear and the road was dry.
Assisting the Sheriff’s Office at the scene were the Indiana State Police, Orland Police, Orland Fire Department, Steuben County Emergency Medical Service and the Steuben County Coroner’s Office.