Multiple vehicle crashes leads to the temporary closer of I-465 Wednesday afternoon

FORT WAYNE – At approximately 12:20 p.m. Wednesday an Indiana State Trooper stopped to assist with what he thought was a vehicle slide-off on the southbound side of Interstate 469 (25.8mm), north of the State Road 37 interchange, Allen County. 

The trooper discovered this was actually a two-vehicle crash involving a black passenger and a semi-tractor/trailer which then apparently left the scene.  An ambulance from Three Rivers Ambulance Authority responded to assist with the driver’s injury who complained 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 the conditions.  By 12:40 p.m. numerous troopers, and 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 were then stranded in the roadway.  

Fortunately, in total there were only (5) crashes with significant property damage, one minor injury, and numerous vehicles involved in fender benders and released from the scene with non-reportable damage.  Parker’s Wrecker Service responded with several tow trucks and removed all of the wrecked vehicles from the interstate.

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.

There were (16) Troopers from the Fort Wayne Post alongside nearly (10) Allen County & Fort Wayne Police Department officers managing the interstate closure and the multiple crash scenes involved.  Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, Fort Wayne Fire Department, INDOT snow plow crews, and Parker’s Wrecker Service.