(Fort Wayne, IN)– (12-23-22) In the midst of the year’s worst winter weather storm, at approximately 3:00 pm this afternoon troopers from the Fort Wayne Post, officers from the Allen County Police Department, Fort Wayne Police Department, and Southwest Fired Department responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 69 (300 mile marker) on Fort Wayne’s south side. Upon arrival officers found vehicle wreckage strewn across both the northbound lanes along with several in the side ditch.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Chris Kinsey was the first of more than a dozen officers arriving on scene. According to Sgt. Kinsey (and at the time of this release, the overall crash scene is still under investigation) there were twelve vehicles total that were involved in the incident. There were ten vehicles, to include nine passenger cars and an INDOT snowplow, that were involved in a series of collisions in the northbound lanes of Interstate 69. There were two other vehicles which took evasive action and successfully avoided collision, but then ended up off road in the side ditch.
Fortunately, there were only three injuries reported in total. All three injured adults were transported by the Southwest Fire Department to a local area hospital for medical evaluation and treatment.
Although the extreme winter weather conditions were definitely contributing environmental factors in the incident, the primary cause of the chain events was due to traveled speeds too fast for the current road conditions. Once those first few cars lost control and collided with each other, that then led into multiple other vehicles attempting to get slowed/stopped to avoid the pileup.
Parker’s Wrecker Service was summoned to the scene to assist officers with the removal and clean up of the crash site. The Indiana State Police would like to acknowledge Parker’s Wrecker Service for a very expedient and professional response, which was the key to getting the roadway opened back up as soon as was possible.
This crash incident remains under investigation by the Indiana State Police. ISP was assisted the scene by the Allen County Police, Fort Wayne Police, Southwest Fire Department, and Parker’s Wrecker Service.
As has been previously warned by the Indiana State Police ahead of this winter storm, vehicle travel was expected and continues to be extremely dangerous throughout northeast Indiana. Ice covered roads, high winds, blowing snow and whiteout conditions require drivers to slow down and driver with extreme caution. This crash incident not only shut down traffic on I-69 for nearly two and a half hours, but that shut down also left dozens of vehicles and their occupants stranded on the interstate while crews worked to clear the scene. We are fortunate that there was not further injury or incident related to the extremely cold weather exposure for all those involved.