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.
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