John Doe: The man struck and killed early Thursday while walking on Interstate 65 was a 24-year-old construction worker from Missouri who’d been working in the area and staying at a hotel on Meijer Drive on Lafayette’s east side. Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello identified Joseph Jentsch in a news release published Friday.
A forensic pathologist performed an autopsy on Jentsch on Thursday, Costello said. The preliminary results indicated Jentsch died from multiple injuries consistent with a motor vehicle accident. Costello said the pending manner of death is an accident. Also, toxicology is pending.
Jentsch’s supervisor called Lafayette police Thursday morning when he didn’t show up for work, and the dispatcher then called the coroner’s office asking if the man’s description matched their case, Costello said.
The descriptions matched Jentsch, and authorities checked the hotel, where they found a parked truck that Jentsch had been driving, Costello said. Jentsch’s identification was in his wallet inside the truck. Although police know who Jentsch was, they still do not know what he was doing walking on the six-lane interstate, according to Indiana State Police.
Jentsch was walking in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 near the Lafayette/Indiana 26 exit about 2:15 a.m. Thursday when he was struck by a northbound Honda CRV driven by 46-year-old Ella Hollis of Indianapolis, police said Thursday.
Jentsch died at the scene, and Hollis was treated at a Lafayette hospital for minor injuries, according to Indiana State Police. The case remains under investigation, police said on Friday.