A fiery crash on Interstate 469 late Thursday afternoon involved three semis and two passenger vehicles, and two people were killed in the pileup.
Police and medics were called around 4:45 p.m. Thursday to mile marker 21 of Interstate 469, near the U.S. 24 interchange. At the time, police said they believed two semis had crashed and caught fire, but three people escaped.
Friday morning, though, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department said the crash actually involved three semis and two passenger vehicles.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that two people in the wreck were killed. The Allen County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Benjamin T. Zimmerman, 20, of Defiance, Ohio and Joseph W. Hedges, 27, of Toledo.
They died of blunt force trauma, the coroner’s office said.
According to sheriff’s department, a semi was traveling in the northbound lanes when it struck the back end of a passenger vehicle. That vehicle struck the rear of a second semi, which struck the rear of a third semi. The third semi rolled over and struck a second passenger vehicle.
A fire started between the first and second semi. At least two people in the passenger vehicle between those semis were killed, the sheriff’s department said.
NewsChannel 15 learned that at least three occupants of the semis escaped unharmed. The Allen County Sheriff’s Office says no other injuries were reported.
Both northbound lanes and one southbound lane of I-469 were closed at the time of the crash. All lanes were reopened by 5 a.m. Friday morning.
The crash is still under investigation.