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3 die in crash on I-69 in DeKalb County after semi driver plows into slowed traffic

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Posted at 12:10 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 12:10:06-04

DEKALB COUNTY — Three people died Wednesday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 69 in northeast Indiana.

According to information from Indiana State Police, troopers responded to a crash at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday that involved three passenger cars and two tractor-trailers at mile marker 332 near Auburn.

A preliminary crash investigation by ISP Trooper Adam Kitson revealed the driver of a tractor-trailer was driving at a high rate of speed when he crashed into traffic that was slowed or stopped due to construction delays.

The tractor-trailer driver first crashed into the rear of a red GMC Acadia SUV and continued northbound crashing into the rear of a silver Ford Escape. He then crashed into a black Mazda passenger car, which collided with another tractor-trailer. Drivers of two other vehicles were able to swerve out of the way and avoid impact.

The driver of the 2020 Mazda, William Charles Heil, 65, of Angola, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two passengers in the GMC Acadia, Dale Eugene Lowe, 81, and his wife, Jean Elsie Lowe, 72, both of Charlotte, Michigan, died after they were transported to a Fort Wayne hospital.

Four other people, including a 4-year-old girl, suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The crash closed the northbound lanes of I-69 at mile marker 332 for more than five hours, creating a backup for several miles. Southbound lanes were also shut down or slowed for several hours.