A one-vehicle crash caused the death of an Elkhart man and left a Elkhart teen injured Tuesday evening on Old U.S. Hwy. 33, west of Elkhart Park Drive in Elkhart.
According to Elkhart County police, Nichole Besemer, 17, was driving east on Old U.S. Hwy.. 33, when she lost control of her 1999 Dodge Caravan on the snow-covered road and struck an AEP utility pole, snapping it in half. Her passenger, Trent Forte, 19, was transported to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment of lacerated liver and other internal injuries. He died at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday from those injuries. An autopsy was scheduled Wednesday by the County Coroner’s office.
Besemer was transported to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment of a contusion to her forehead and complaint of severe pain to her hip and pelvis.
The Elkhart County Sheriff Department’s Crash Investigation Team assisted with taking measurements and video of the scene. Besemer was found to be driving without obtaining a valid driver’s license and the crash is still being investigated.
Cromwell woman critical after fire
A 91-year-old woman was critically injured after a weekend house fire near Cromwell, authorities said.
Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a call at 10510 W. 200 South, Cromwell, in Noble County and had it under control by 9:30 p.m., said Jason Stump, a spokesman with Sparta Township Fire Department.
A neighbor had helped Eleanor Steller, the homeowner, outside the house before the chief arrived on the scene, Stump said. It was determined the fire was caused by a candle that Steller lit and then fell asleep. The two-story farmhouse, where she lived alone, was a complete loss, Stump said.
Steller suffered smoke inhalation and burns to her face and arms and was flown by helicopter to the burn unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne where she remains in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon, hospital staff said.