Accidents snarl southbound I-69 traffic

An accident at mile marker 299 left one in critical condition.
An accident at mile marker 299 left one in critical condition.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After two accidents within three miles of each other snarled southbound I-69 traffic for hours on Friday, all lanes are open. Police have cleared I-69 at mile markers 296 and 299 following a semi rollover and a crash.

Photos | Accidents snarl southbound traffic on I-69

The first accident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Friday. A semi rolled over at exit 296, near the General Motors Plant and the 469 interchange. Police think the driver was traveling too fast, causing the semi to roll over. The truck was carrying car parts. The driver was not seriously injured.

Police shut down the road there while they worked to clear the scene, but traffic was able to move slowly thanks to an exit ramp near the accident.

Just before 3 p.m., there was a secondary accident a few miles away on I-69. Indiana State Police Master Trooper Trent Kiefer was sitting in his vehicle on the shoulder at the 299 mile marker with his lights on in order to alert drivers of the traffic slowdown and upcoming accident. A box truck driven by Derek Lightle of Sheridan hit the trooper’s truck, causing a chain reaction that involved a total of four vehicles, including a semi. A car driven by Tammie Bell of Fort Wayne was hit, as was a tractor trailer driven by Marvin Childers of Richmond. Mile marker 299 is just north of Lower Huntington Road (Airport Expressway).

An accident at mile marker 299 left one in critical condition.
An accident at mile marker 299 left one in critical condition.

Master Trooper Kiefer, Lightle, and Bell were all taken to Lutheran Hospital. Kiefer was treated for neck pain and released. Bell was treated for shoulder pain and released. Lightle sustained leg injuries and is being treated.

Northbound lanes were not affected by the accident or lanes closures, but traffic did appear to be moving slowly for a time.

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