Fiery interstate crash kills trucker, injures van driver

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) One person is dead after a fiery crash along Interstate 469 this morning that has closed a stretch of the highway.

Two semis collided on I-469 on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, the impact sparking a massive fire (Photo courtesy Sandra Oddy-Fadel/Facebook).
Two semis collided on I-469 on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, the impact sparking a massive fire (Photo courtesy Sandra Oddy-Fadel/Facebook).

Police and fire crews were called around 8:30 a.m. to a multi-vehicle crash at the 26 milemarker of I-469, between the Maplecrest Road and Maysville Road interchanges. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department said two trucks and a van collided, and a fire started.

Department spokesman Adam Griffith told NewsChannel 15 that one semi was slowed on the interstate as a result of an earlier crash involving a cattle hauler three miles away. Another semi came up on it and rear-ended it and a minivan, Griffith said.

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The impact caused a fire in the semi’s cab, Griffith said, and killed its driver. A photo submitted by a viewer showed that semi fully engulfed in flames.

The minivan veered off the semi and down the embankment. Its driver suffered minor injuries and was hospitalized. The other semi’s driver was not injured.

Police did not identify any of the drivers.

Adam Spieth was on the highway when the impact occurred. He said he saw the crash, then the sparks, then the fire.

“We’d just seen a flash and then the van fly off to the edge of the road, then pieces blown all over the highway, of course,” said Spieth. “By then, we stopped. I couldn’t even see the other semi in front of the other one so we just watched for a minute, then we seen the fire underneath the semi sparked, then it went out, then it started flickering more then it really started to burn.”

Alexis Miller recalled hearing the explosions as the truck burned.

“It was pretty scary,” said Miller, a motorist who witnessed the crash. “There was a ton of black smoke coming up and you could hear it kind of exploding.”

Crews closed the interstate in both directions after the crash. One southbound lane was reopened around 10:30 a.m., and all lanes were reopened around 3:30 p.m.

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