3 dead, at least 1 more hurt in I-69 crash involving 7 vehicles

The crash involving five cars and two semis happened around 3:15 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 69 in DeKalb County near mile marker 332.

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 3:41 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2020 12:33 PM

AUBURN, Ind. (WFFT) — Three people are dead and at least one more is hurt after a seven-vehicle crash on I-69 in DeKalb County.

The crash involving five cars and two semi/tractor-trailer happened around 3:15 p.m. in the northbound lanes near mile marker 332 just north of Auburn.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Brian Walker says a Mazda SUV was pinned between two semis.

The driver of that vehicle died. Investigators say the man driving was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to the Indiana State Police, rescue crews from the Auburn and Waterloo Fire Departments responded to the crash to extricate two critically injured passengers from a GMC Acadia SUV that ended up in a ditch.

Troopers said all five occupants of the GMC being either flown or transported by ambulance to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.

Walker told FOX 55 as of 6:12 p.m. two of the three people who were transported to the hospital died from their injuries.

The condition of one person hospitalized is currently unknown.

ISP says the drivers of the two other vehicles involved, a silver Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and a blue Chevrolet Trailblazer, were able to swerve off the road to the right and avoid direct impact.

Investigators said both vehicles sustained minor damage and there were no injuries to anyone in these vehicles.

Trooper Adam Kitson’s said his preliminary crash investigation revealed that at the time of the crash, the northbound I-69 traffic had slowed down or stopped due to roadway construction delays up ahead near the 334 mile marker Waterloo exit.

Investigators said a red 2007 Kenworth semi driven by 70-year-old James Crager of Angola was approaching the slowed traffic at a high rate of speed.

They said Crager failed to slow down in time or take evasive action to avoid the congested traffic, which led to "a catastrophic chain of events."

The crash required the northbound lanes of I-69 at the 332 mile marker to be shut down for over five hours, according to police.

This created a large traffic back up for several miles and required the detouring of northbound traffic at the Auburn exits.

Southbound lanes of travel on I-69 were also shut down or slowed for several hours as officers worked to redirect and alleviate northbound traffic that was stuck on the interstate because of the crash.

Names of the victims are being withheld pending next of kin notifications by the DeKalb County Coroner's Office.

UPDATE: DeKalb County coroner identifies 3 victims involved in I-69 pileup crash

 

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