A Valparaiso man is preliminarily believed to have died of a heart attack
which caused him to crash his pickup truck on Tuesday in a one vehicle
accident in Porter Township.
An autopsy performed this morning revealed no internal injuries to Mark W.
Wiltjer, 46, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris told the Chesterton
Wiltjer was found unconscious and unresponsive in his vehicle following an
accident on Cherrywood Lane.
Harris said that no visible trauma was found on Wiltjer’s body either and
that while no ruling has yet been made, the suspected cause of death is
heart attack. Wiltjer was pronounced dead at 9:29 p.m. at the Porter
hospital ER in Valparaiso, about 50 minutes after he was found behind the
wheel of his vehicle.
According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 8:40 p.m. an officer was
dispatched to the area of Cherrywood Lane and Division Road in response to a
report of an accident.
On his arrival, the officer observed a Ford pickup truck “with its front end
embedded into several large pine trees” in a front yard. Wiltjer was in the
driver’s seat, wearing his seat belt, with all airbags deployed, police
Wiltjer was “unresponsive and locked inside of his vehicle” and the officer
“made the decision to force entry” with a sledge hammer provided by a
passer-by, police said. After breaking the passenger’s side window and
entering the pickup, the officer found Wiltjer “unconscious and not
EMS personnel arrived at the scene, began to administer CPR, and then
transported him to Porter ER, where he was later pronounced dead.
Police said that Wiltjer appeared to have been northbound on Cherrywood Lane
when he left the roadway, ran through the yard, and came to rest in the pine