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Passenger killed as Jeep flips along trail

– A 52-year-old man died Monday night after the Jeep he was riding in rolled over on an off-road trail southwest of Fort Wayne, according to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.

About 9:45 p.m., sheriff’s officers were sent to the crash scene in the 13000 block of Neahlongquah Lane, near Aboite and Ernst roads.

Investigators learned that the Jeep, carrying four people, had overturned as the driver was going up a steep hill. The wreck pinned passenger David L. Hitzfield of Fort Wayne, who died at the scene, authorities said.

Hitzfield was not wearing a seat belt, the Allen County Coroner’s Office said.

The driver and other passengers, whose identities were not released, suffered minor injuries. It’s not clear whether they were wearing seat belts. The crash remains under investigation.

Hitzfield’s death was the 26th traffic fatality this year in Fort Wayne and Allen County. The city and county saw 37 traffic deaths in 2012 and 28 in 2011.