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7-year-old dies, parents and brother hurt in La Porte County crash

LA PORTE, Ind. (WISH) — A 7-year-old girl died at a hospital and her parents and 8-year-old brother were injured early Sunday when their vehicle hit trees off U.S. 35, the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office says.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Deputies were sent just before 12:05 a.m. Sunday to the crash on U.S. 35 near Schultz Road. That’s in a rural area near the Indiana Toll Road overpass north of the city of La Porte.

Investigators believe a tan 2000 Chevrolet left the southbound lane of U.S. 35, went off the west side of the road and struck two trees in a wooded area. Investigators say they’re unsure what led to the vehicle to leave the highway. A news release from the sheriff’s office did not specify what type of Chevrolet was in the crash.

Dawn Coleman, 42, of Walkerton, was driving and Alfred Jones, 45, of Chicago, was in the front passenger seat. Their children were in the back seat.

Coleman was seriously injured while Jones was critically injured. The boy received minor injuries. All were taken to hospitals.

The children’s names were not in the news release, and the sheriff’s office says it will release no additional information.

La Porte is a city of 22,300 residents that’s about a 2-1/2 hour drive northwest of downtown Indianapolis.