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Man dies in I-64 crash 2 days after father buried

A horse exercise rider who had buried his father two days earlier was killed Thursday night when his vehicle rear-ended another vehicle as its driver made a U-turn to assist a stranded motorist along Interstate 64.
Mark Cowan, 47, of Groveport, Ohio, died of blunt force trauma at the scene about a half-mile west of the Lanesville exit, according to Harrison County Coroner Steve Hamm.
The crash happened about 8:35 p.m. when an eastbound pickup truck driven by James Bittel of Lewisport, Ky., slowed to pull into a paved crossover for emergency vehicles to go back and assist a stranded motorist.
Bittel was pulling a 20-foot flatbed trailer, which Cowan struck, according to information from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. Cowan’s Dodge Caliber became wedged under the trailer and was dragged through the crossover.
A westbound GMC pickup driven by John Veltman of Leavenworth hit the trailer as it entered into the westbound lanes of the interstate.
One eastbound lane of I-64 and both westbound lanes were closed for about four hours while an Indiana State Police reconstruction team conducted its investigation.
Neither Bittel nor Veltman were injured in the crash.
Police said no charges have been filed against Bittel at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.
Cowan’s father, Elmer Cowan, 77, a well-known thoroughbred trainer for nearly 60 years, died July 13 and was buried in Ohio two days before the crash.
The younger Cowan was returning to Louisville from Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., where he had been working on the starting gate, when the crash occurred. He is survived by two brothers, Gary and Terry Cowan. Spence Funeral Home in Canal Winchester, Ohio, handled arrangements.

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