3/31/20 Emily Mettler

Emily Mettler, a 27-year-old Purdue Fort Wayne graduate student who died in a car accident last week, was a member of the Wabash River Runners Club.

The Tippecanoe County coroner's office confirmed Tuesday that Emily Mettler, a 27-year-old Purdue Fort Wayne graduate student, died in a March 25 car crash.

A grain truck collided with a Ford pickup truck, presumably driven by Mettler, near the intersection of U.S. 231 South and Veterans Memorial Parkway in West Lafayette around 2 p.m, according to the Tippecanoe County sheriff's office. The collision set the car ablaze.

Coroner Donna Avolt said the cause of death has been diagnosed as multiple blunt-force trauma due to a motor vehicle accident.

John Harding, the 75-year-old driver of the grain truck, was not injured in the crash, a press release from the sheriff's office stated. Harding was taken to a hospital afterward for investigative purposes.

Mettler was a master's student in PFW's biology department, according to a Facebook post from the department. The post said Mettler had just published a second research paper related to her thesis work and called her, "A bright light in conservation lost way too early!"

Another post from the Wabash River Runners Club, which Mettler was a member of, said she had just moved to Lafayette and had been working for the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. The post said she was an avid lover of the outdoors, often running, rock climbing or doing yoga.

"Emily was a beloved friend to many of us, and we’ll miss her energy, strength, humor, and sparkling personality," the post reads. "Though we cannot gather in person right now, we hope that the Lafayette running community can support each other in this difficult time."

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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