FORT WAYNE, IN - Roads in Northeast Indiana and the multistate region were a real mess Wednesday after a heavy snow storm.
Multiple vehicle crashes Wednesday even lead to a temporary closure of interstate 469.
According to the Indiana State Police, at approximately 12:20 PM on Wednesday, a Trooper stopped to assist what he thought was a vehicle slide-off on the southbound side of Interstate 469 (25.8mm), north of the SR37 interchange, Allen County. The trooper discovered this was actually a two-vehicle crash involving black passenger and a semi-tractor/trailer which then apparently left the scene.
Reports indicate an ambulance from Three Rivers Ambulance Authority responded to assist with the driver’s injury (complaint of pain), and then Parker’s wrecker service responded to pull the passenger vehicle out of the ditch. Road conditions at the time were slick and hazardous with snow/slush/ice buildup and heavy snow falling.
Due to the road conditions, another trooper had positioned himself on the shoulder a ½ mile back (near the Wheelock Road underpass) to warn approaching vehicles of the traffic incident ahead. That warning did not deter traffic, which continued at speeds too fast for conditions.
By 12:40 PM Wednesday afternoon numerous troopers, county, and city police officers were responding to multiple vehicle crashes along this short stretch of I-469.
Subsequently the six mile stretch of southbound I-469 (from I-69 all the way to SR37) had to be completely shut down for the safety of all first responders and the many crashed vehicle occupants then stranded in the roadway.
Fortunately, in total there were only (5) crashes with significant property damage, (1) minor injury, and numerous vehicles involved in fender benders and released from the scene with non-reportable damage.
The southbound lanes of I-469 were shut down for more than two hours while the incident was being investigated, which caused major rerouting and delays for I-69 traffic needing to avoid using I-469. During the shutdown, INDOT crews were able to manage the snow removal and surface treatment prior to reopening the interstate.
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