LaPorte County Man Seriously Injured in Snowmobile Crash

Staff Writer

Indiana Conservation Officers on Monday were called to a rural area near Hanna, Indiana shortly after midnight regarding a serious injury snowmobile crash.
The investigation revealed at around midnight, 38 year old Charles Zbuka was riding his snowmobile across a large field at approximately 40 miles per hour when he drove into a large ditch, striking the bank on the opposite side.
Another snowmobile rider witnessed the crash and found Zbuka unconscious and in the water at the bottom of the ditch. The witness entered the water and held Zbuka’s head above the surface while he called 911.
LaPorte County Deputies Doperalski and Masterson were the first to arrive on the scene, utilizing a rope to retrieve Zbuka from the steep banks of the ditch. The quick actions of the witness and Deputies Doperalski and Masterson were essential, life-saving efforts.
Due to the nature of Zbuka’s injuries, a helicopter was requested, but was unable to transport him due to the poor weather conditions. Zbuka was transported to LaPorte Hospital, and then South Bend Memorial Hospital by ambulance in serious, but stable condition.
Zbuka was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. Speed, poor visibility and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
Indiana conservation officers were assisted by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, Hanna Fire Department, LaPorte County EMS, and John’s Garage.