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Man killed in South Bend crash identified, FACT investigating

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Police say a man has been killed in a crash on Country Club Road in South Bend early Thursday morning.

St. Joseph County Police Department responded to a call for a welfare check for a female involved in an accident around 2:35 a.m. on Thursday.

While on their way to the scene, the fire department saw a silver Chevrolet Malibu off of the side of the road. It appeared to have been heading west on Fillmore and went off the road in the area where it turns into Country Club Road.

Firefighters at the scene said the car was on fire when they arrived.

Officers tentatively identified the male victim as 41-year-old Daniel Gonzales of South Bend, who was located inside of the car and pronounced deceased at the scene. Official identification is pending further testing by the Coroner's Office. 

Initial investigation findings say that Gonzales is believed to have been the driver of the car.

30-year-old Jessica Howard of South Bend was ejected from the car and walked to a home nearby for help. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Family members of Daniel Gonzales shared their memories of him at an impromptu vigil Thursday evening. 

"He was loving, always there when you needed anything," Daniel Gonzales' cousin Laura Baker said. 

According to Howard, she and Gonzales were brother and sister.

Per protocol, the St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team (FACT) is handling the investigation.

The cause of the crash remains unknown and is under investigation.

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