A moped driver is dead and his passenger hospitalized after an early-morning crash in Mishawaka.
It happened Friday morning at 2:34 a.m. near the intersection of Bremen Highway and Walter Street.
The moped was travelling southbound on Bremen Highway when it was rear-ended by a minivan near the intersection with Walter Street.
The driver suffered multiple blunt force trauma and died at the scene of the crash.
His passenger was in critical condition and was rushed into surgery.
The St. Joseph County Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (FACT) is handling the investigation but did not release any details about the crash on Friday.
However, word about the deaths spread rapidly across Facebook and social media.
Family of the deceased moped driver confirmed to NewsCenter 16 that Corey Whittamore, who often goes by Corey Leath, was the driver and was dead at the scene. His fiance, Crystal Horvath was taken to the hospital for treatment of internal injuries.
"My kid was a good kid. He was a phenomenal kid and he is going to be sorely missed," said Corey's stepfather Gregory John Leath.
Leath learned about his stepson's death early Friday morning after receiving a frantic call from Corey's younger sister living in Texas.
"She was hysterical saying, Daddy, Corey is dead," Leath explained as his stepdaughter continued to tell him what happened he went numb.
"The guy supposedly didn't see Corey on a moped that is essentially brand new, with a taillight that is excessively bright. There's no way he could have not seen him," Leath wants Mishawaka police and investigators to provide his family with more details about the crash.
Leath said he's heard too many negative comments inquiring as to why the pair was out so late and wants to clear the air.
Corey and Crystal were on their way to the Meijer store on Bremen Hwy at around 2:30 a.m. The couple does not have a car of their own and waited until Corey's brother, Josh, to return to their Mishawaka home to borrow his moped.
Corey Jr., their three-year-old son had spiked a fever above 102 degrees and needed medicine, so Corey and Crystal did what any parent would do in that situation and rushed to the store as early as possible.
Friends and family gathered at Corey's mother's house Friday in the wake of the devastating news.
Tom Billheimer, a close family friend and godfather to Corey's oldest son, said his heart broke when he learned Corey passed.
"He was just trying to get their life going, that's what's so sad, he's never going to get the chance...who know's what he could've been," said Billheimer.
According to Leath, the engaged couple's two children--three months old and three years old--will be cared for by a close friend of Crystal's.