Friends in shock over Ball State student's death

Blake Taylor
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The friends of a Ball State Student who died on a flooded highway while driving back to school Sunday are struggling to come to terms with their sudden loss. 

Blake Taylor's car overturned late Sunday night into a water-filled ditch along State Road 26 in Grant County. The teenager's college roommates spoke with Eyewitness News on Monday.

"We met at freshman orientation," said Matt Guell, a Ball State freshman who was roommates with Taylor.

Guell and his friends are anxious to find out why their fellow student Blake Taylor crashed and died Sunday night.

"Shock. Pain. Suffering. I thought about his family, what they were going through, and thought about all of us," said Guell.

Taylor, a freshman studying accounting, left Kokomo Sunday night and headed back to Ball State. The 19-year-old was driving a 2002 Pontiac Gran Prix. His friends say he kept the car in excellent condition, especially the engine.

After finding Taylor's car submerged upside down in a flooded field off State Road 26, Grant County deputies used tow straps to pull it out. Taylor died at the hospital despite efforts to resuscitate him.

Word about his death spread quickly among his classmates and on social media.

"Unfortunately this cost Blake's life, but at least I can drive a little safer out of respect for him," said Zach Welch, BSU freshman.

"It hit me like a bag of bricks. It has not sunk in. I am amazed I am not in tears," said Cameron Hall, BSU freshman.

Crash investigators say Taylor hit standing water on the road, slid across the center line and rolled over into a five-foot ditch filled with water. They believe it may have been 10 to 12 minutes before someone passing by called for help.

Now friends are remembering the last time they saw him on campus.

"He was just hanging around down the hallway, near a buddy's room playing video games, doing his thing," said Quinn Fox, BSU freshman.

The crash is still under investigation.