The highway patrol reports a head-on crash last night in rural Putnam County has claimed the life of a Milan resident, 36-year-old John Hanen.
He was pronounced dead at the scene four miles to the south of Unionville.
The highway patrols’ major crash investigation unit went to the scene on Highway 5 when Hanen’s sports utility vehicle had collided with an oncoming big rig, a 2001 Peterbilt, at 8 o’clock Wednesday night.
Investigators report the SUV Hanen was driving southbound, crossed the center line of Highway 5 and struck the northbound semi driven by 35-year-old Mark Phippen of Exira, Iowa who wasn’t injured.
The report noted Phippen was using a safety device while Hanen was not.
Both vehicles were demolished.
John Hanen is the first traffic-related death this year within the nine-county area.
Last year, the Green Hills area had 14 traffic fatalities. That was five fewer than in 2015 for the Green Hills Region
Putnam was the only county among the nine to go without a traffic fatality in 2016 – now it has the first one for 2017.