7-year-old killed in LaPorte County crash

LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind., --- Officials are investigating a single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 7-year-old little girl and critically injured two others.

Authorities say they responded to a crash at 12:04 a.m. Sunday morning in the area of US 35 and Schultz Road.

Shortly after off-duty deputy Derrick Deck located the scene on the 3000-north block of US 35.

Officials say a tan 2000 Chevrolet was traveling south on US 35 when it left the lane for an unknown reason, struck two trees before coming to a stop in a wooded area.

The driver was identified as 42-year-old Dawn Coleman of Walkerton, while the front passenger was identified as a 45-year-old Chicago man.

Their children, an 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl, were also in the back seat.

Both children were taken to the hospital, where the 7-year-old died from her injuries.

The 8-year-old suffered minor injuries and was later released.

Coleman and the front-seat passenger both suffered critical injuries.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the fatal crash.

The accident remains under investigation by the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office.

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