The reality star passed away in Hartford, Conn., after suffering a pulmonary embolism

By Alexis L. Loinaz
Updated October 16, 2013 02:15 PM

Michael Fortunato, who was featured on the MTV reality series Catfish, has died from a pulmonary embolism. He was 26.

MTV News reports that Fortunato passed away Saturday in Hartford, Conn. He had been driving himself to the hospital when his car swerved off the road and hit a fence. Paramedics then transported Fortunato to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The chief medical examiner’s office in Farmington, Conn., confirmed to MTV that Fortunato died of a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis.

Fortunato had been featured on the show’s second season, in which he was seen meeting girlfriend Ashley Sawyer for the first time face-to-face after having a seven-year relationship online.

On Tuesday, Catfish host Nev Schulman posted a message on Twitter dedicated to Fortunato.

“I didn’t know him well, but feel lucky to have known him at all. A great guy & event better friend. He will be missed,” Schulman wrote.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Fortunato,” MTV said in a statement. “Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”