Michael Fortunato, a 26-year-old New Jersey man who was featured in the popular MTV show “Catfish,” died in Connecticut over the weekend.
Fortunato, who was in the episode “Ashley & Mike” during the show’s second season, died of pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis, according to the office of the chief medical examiner.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Fortunato," MTV said in a statement posted on the network’s website. "Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."
Fortunato’s sister, Gena, told MTV that her brother had left his place of employment in Connecticut to drive himself to a hospital on Saturday but swerved and struck a fence.
Paramedics transported him to the hospital, and the family received a call hours later about Michael’s death.
Ashley Sawyer, who was also featured in the MTV episode, told MTV that she and Michael were “very much in love” and that he’d had sent her a text on Saturday saying he was thinking about going to the hospital but changed his mind.
The couple had been planning to spend New Year’s Eve together in Ashley’s hometown of Atlanta, according to MTV.