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Snowmobiler hurt badly in crash

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a snowmobile crash on Thursday night in Kosciusko County that left one man with serious internal injuries.

Keith Hochstetler, 31, of Milford was riding his snowmobile about 6:30 p.m. Thursday with some friends near county roads 600 North and 150 West when he struck a snowbank and was thrown from the snowmobile traveling about 50 mph, officials said.

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

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.

Conservation officers recommend that protective gear and helmets be worn 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 cellphones and to operate within their skill levels.

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