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Death from December crash ruled ’13 fatality

– The death of an 89-year-old Fort Wayne man in January has been ruled a traffic fatality, the Allen County Coroner’s office said Tuesday.

Denis James Goonen was driving a vehicle involved in a crash Dec. 14 on East State Boulevard, near Bolton Avenue. Despite wearing a seat belt, he was injured and remained hospitalized until his death Jan. 27, the coroner’s office said.

The results of an autopsy performed the next day showed that he died from acute bronchial pneumonia. His death was ruled an accident, making it the seventh traffic fatality in Fort Wayne and Allen County in 2013, the coroner’s office said.

Born in Lafayette, Goonen was in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II and was a member of American Legion Post 409 in Leo. He worked for Sun Oil Co., and after retiring, he was a volunteer and employee at the American Red Cross, according to obituaries.

In the 1950s, Goonen was a founding member of the Allen County Youth Hockey League and was a coach and league president. He spent more than 15 years with USA Hockey in the roles of registrar, district vice president and tournament coordinator. He was also an auto racing official for over 30 years, according to obituaries.

He is survived by his wife, Helen Goonen; daughter, Kathy Goonen; and sister, Patricia Albertson. He was preceded in death by his parents, Denis and Ruth Goonen; brothers, John and James Goonen; and sister, Rosemary Knuth, according to obituaries. Services were held last month.

aingersoll@jg.net

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