Catfish Star Michael Fortunato Dead at 26
10/16/2013 AT 02:15 PM EDT
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."