ELKHART Man dies in single-car crash

Two people were taken to the hospital following an accident on U.S. 33 west of Elkhart.
Posted on Feb. 27, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 27, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

ELKHART — A man died from his injuries about 12 hours after a single-vehicle crash sent him to the hospital.

Trent Forte, 19, of Elkhart, was pronounced dead at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, according to a press release from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. Chief Deputy Coroner James Elliott said the cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma injuries.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department and Baugo Township Fire Department responded to Old U.S. 33, just west of Elk Park Drive at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Department, Nichole Besemer, 17, of Elkhart, was driving east on Old U.S. 33 when the van lost control because it was “traveling too fast for the snow-covered road.” The van went off the north side of the road and struck a utility pole, snapping it in half. Forte was taken to Elkhart General Hospital with a possible lacerated liver and other internal injuries.

Besemer was also taken to the hospital with a contusion to the forehead and complaint of pain to the hip and pelvis. She was treated and released.

According to the report, the vehicle sustained extensive damage to the passenger side.

Besemer was never issued a license, according to police. The Sheriff’s Crash Investigation Team is investigating the accident and no citations were issued at the scene.

Old U.S. 33 was closed while first responders worked at the scene. The road reopened shortly after midnight, according to dispatch.

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