Chesterton Tribune



Snowmobiler badly hurt in LaPorte County crash

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A LaPorte man was seriously injured on Monday in a snowmobile crash, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reporting.

According to the DNR, shortly after midnight Conservation Officers were dispatched to a rural area near Hanna, where Charles Zbuka, 38, crashed his snowmobile into a large ditch while traveling approximately 40 miles per hour.

The DNR said that Zbuka hit the bank of the ditch on the opposite side and was found by another snowmobiler unconscious and in water at the bottom of the ditch. The other snowmobiler entered the ditch and managed to hold Zbuka’s head above water while calling 911.

LaPorte County Deputies Doperalski and Masterson were the first to arrive on the scene, utilizing a rope to retrieve Zbuka from the steep banks of the ditch,” the DNR said. “The quick actions of the witness and Deputies Doperalski and Masterson were essential, life-saving efforts.”

“Due to the nature of Zbuka’s injuries, a helicopter was requested, but was unable to transport him due to the poor weather conditions,” the DNR added. Zbuka was transported to LaPorte Hospital and then to South Bend Memorial Hospital by ambulance in serious but stable condition.

Zbuka was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, the DNR said. Speed and poor visibility are believed to be contributing factors. The investigation is ongoing at this time.


Posted 1/9/2018




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