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WINFIELD — A 20-year-old man died and three other people were taken to hospitals late Monday after a four-vehicle crash on 109th Avenue, authorities said.

Julian M. Tinoco, of Winfield, died from blunt force trauma at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, according to the Lake County coroner's office. His death was ruled an accident.

Tinoco and three others were taken to three different hospitals after the crash about 9:45 p.m. near 109th Avenue and Deer Creek Drive, officials said.

Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez said he was moved to investigate the number of wrecks at the crash's site that have claimed lives, injured motorists and damaged cars and property within the past five years. 

There have been two fatal wrecks, 15 crashes with serious bodily injury, seven property damage crashes and two hit-and-run wrecks at the intersection, according to Martinez.

The Winfield Town Marshal Dan Ball said initial investigations reveal that the  vehicle that caused the crash was driving westbound on 109th Avenue and collided with the other three vehicles traveling eastbound on 109th Avenue, including Tinoco's vehicle.  

The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff's Department traffic reconstruction unit. A Winfield officer was on scene assisting with the investigation, Ball said.

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Volunteers with the Lakes of the Four Seasons Fire Force extinguished a fire in the engine compartment of one vehicle and extricated people from three of the four vehicles involved in Monday's crash, Fire Chief Jason Gikas said.

Two patients were taken to St. Mary, one was taken to Franciscan Health Crown Point hospital and a fourth patient was taken to Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville, he said. 

Tinoco was pronounced dead at 10:40 p.m. by staff at St. Mary.

Gikas said the crash was tragic and thanked the many agencies that assisted, which also included the Crown Point, Merrillville and Boone Grove fire departments and the Winfield Street Department.

Officials reopened 109th Avenue about 2:45 a.m., he said.

Check back at nwi.com for updates to this story.

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