UPDATE: Fatal crash victim identified

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. 33-year-old Riley Putz has died after crashing his car into a tree in South Bend, according to police.

The accident happened around 3:45 a.m., when Putz's car veered off Pear Rd., just north of Harrison Rd.

A 2000 Pontiac was reportedly southbound on Pear Rd. and the driver lost control. The vehicle slid off the roadway and struck a large pine tree.

The force of the crash was so strong that it broke the tree in half and caused it to fall on top of the vehicle.

Putz was declared dead at the scene and had to be extricated from the car.

Officers say there were no other people in the car.

Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in this crash, but investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Pear Rd. was blocked off until about 6:45 a.m.

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