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Warsaw-area walker dies from car crash injuries

A Warsaw man who was struck by a car as he walked along a rural road in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday died later that afternoon.

About 5:20 a.m., Michael C. Keener, 22, was walking south on County Road 150 West in Kosciusko County when he was hit from behind by a small sport utility vehicle, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department said.

He was flown to Fort Wayne’s Lutheran Hospital in critical condition. The driver of the SUV, Darrell E. Young, 46, of Warsaw told police he tried to swerve to miss Keener but couldn’t see him.

Young’s SUV then hit a utility pole, but he was not injured.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office said Keener died of blunt-force trauma.

Keener’s death marks the first time a pedestrian has been struck and killed by a vehicle outside of Warsaw in the county in some time, according to Sgt. Chad Hill, public information officer for the sheriff’s department.

He said Keener’s family told police he recently started walking in the mornings and evenings. Hill said Keener lived about a mile from the crash.