Chesterton Tribune

Victim of US 20 crash was University of Chicago cardiologist

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Investigators have released the name of the man who died Wednesday in a fiery crash on U.S. Highway 20.

The Porter County Sheriff’s Police identified the victim as Morton Arnsdorf, M.D., 69, a Beverly Shores resident and a prominent cardiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

According to police, at 5:32 p.m. Arnsdorf was eastbound on U.S. 20 when he began slowing his 2007 SAAB to turn left onto northbound C.R. 300E. As he slowed, he was rear ended by a 1996 Dodge Neon driven by a 17-year-old Michigan City boy, police said.

The impact drove Arnsdorf’s SAAB across the center line and into the westbound lanes of U.S. 20, where he was struck by an oncoming 2003 Mercury driven by John Merrell, 62, of Portage.

The SAAB, with Arnsdorf in it, became engulfed in flames. Arnsdorf was pronounced dead at the scene.

Coroner Robert Schulte told the Chesterton Tribune today that, while he’s still waiting for the preliminary results of an autopsy conducted on Thursday, he believes that the collision rendered Arnsdorf immediately unconscious.

The 17-year-old driver of the Neon—whose name the PCSP has not yet released—was airlifted to a South Bend hospital

“Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor,” the PCSP said. “Investigators are waiting on the toxicology results from the 17-year-old old driver of the Dodge Neon. The investigation is continuing. The Porter County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the case for charges.”

Merrell, whose Mercury Arnsdorf’s SAAB was pushed into, and a passenger in the Neon, were transported for treatment to Saint Anthony Memorial Health Center in Michigan City.

According to the University of Chicago Medical Center’s website, Arnsdorf was a “nationally known cardiologist” who served as chief of the UC Section of Cardiology for nine years, a master of the American College of Cardiology—an honor bestowed on fewer than 50 cardiologists in the nation—and an “accomplished researcher” whose interests included arrhythmias, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.



Posted 6/11/2010