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Leo freshman, 14, identified as crash victim

October 10, 2018

A Leo High School freshman was identified by authorities Tuesday as the passenger who died in a crash in northeast Allen County on Sunday morning.

The Allen County coroner said Ataya R. Kaser, 14, of Leo-Cedarville died from multiple blunt force injuries because of the one-car crash at Indiana 1 and Popp Road.

Kaser and two other people in the car were attending or had attended Leo High School, East Allen County Schools Superintendent Marilyn Hissong said Tuesday. 

“We will continue to have grief counselors available at the school for students and staff who need to speak with someone regarding this tragedy,” a statement from the school district said.

According to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, the car was headed north on Indiana 1 and crossed the center line, leaving the road on the west side and striking a concrete culvert just north of Popp Road southwest of Leo-Cedarville.

The 17-year-old male driver received minor injuries and ran to a nearby home to report the crash to a homeowner who called dispatchers at 6:25 a.m., the sheriff’s department said.

Kaser, who was sitting in the front seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. A female passenger in the back seat was thrown from the car and taken to a hospital in serious condition, the sheriff’s department said. 

Steve Stone, sheriff’s department public information officer, said Tuesday the department could not comment further on the crash until the investigation is completed. 

Kaser is the 26th traffic fatality in Allen County this year, the coroner said. 

jduffy@jg.net

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