Man killed when truck slams into tree

A North Judson man was killed early Sunday when the pickup he was driving swerved off the roadway and struck a large tree on State Road 8, about 4 miles east of LaCrosse.

PRAIRIE TWP. – La Porte County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the cause of a crash that killed a Starke County man early Sunday near La Crosse in rural Prairie Township.

Sheriff's patrol deputies were notified about 5:15 a.m. Sunday of a single-vehicle crash in the 4400 West block of State Road 8, about 4 miles east of La Crosse, according to sheriff's Capt. Derek Allen.

The first deputy to arrive found a green Ford F-150 pickup against a large tree in the front lawn of a home.

The male driver and lone occupant was trapped inside the pickup and the La Crosse Volunteer Fire Department had to extricate him from the vehicle, according to Allen. Following extrication, the driver was pronounced dead at the scene by the La Porte County Coroner's office.

He was later identified as 58-year-old Lewis J. Hunt of North Judson.

The crash investigation determined Hunt had been driving east on SR 8, and, for an unknown reason, the pickup traveled off the right (south) of the roadway for an extended distance, overcorrected and then traveled back onto the paved portion of the roadway," Allen said.

The pickup then proceeded across the eastbound lane, crossed the center line, left the north side of SR 8 and traveled into the lawn of the residence in the 4400 west block, he said.

"The pickup then truck struck a large tree head-on prior to coming to rest," Allen said.

Alcohol has been ruled out as being a factor in the crash and police continue to investigate.

Toxicology test results are pending.

La Porte County EMS also assisted at the scene.

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