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Snowmobile accident victim airlifted to hospital with serious injuries

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a snowmobile accident on Thursday night in Kosciusko County that left one man with serious internal injuries, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Keith Hochstetler, 31, of Milford, was driving his snowmobile about 6:30 p.m. Thursday with some friends in the area of 600 N and 150 W when he struck a snowbank and was thrown from the snowmobile traveling about 50 mph, officials said.

Hochstetler was then picked up by a passing driver who witnessed the crash and drove him to his residence.

Hochstetler was later driven to Kosciusko Community Hospital by a relative, and his injuries were determined to be severe enough to require him be flown to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, officials said.

He was treated for internal injuries and was listed in stable condition and still hospitalized Saturday.

Indiana Conservation Officers encourage snowmobile operators to wear protective gear and helmets when operating or riding snowmobiles. They also encourage riders to never ride alone, to never operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to carry fully charged cell phones, and to operate within their skill levels.