Interstate reopens after crash leaves 3 hurt

Local News

A two-vehicle crash on Interstate 69 briefly closed the interstate in both directions and sent three people to hospitals.

Police and medics were called around 9:30 a.m. Friday to the 281 milemarker, 5 miles south of Markle. Authorities said a southbound Dodge Stratus crossed the median for some reason and was broadsided on its driver’s side by an oncoming SUV in the northbound lanes.

The Dodge was left badly damaged and split open in the middle of the interstate; the SUV was off the roadway. Investigators said the SUV rolled at least once down an embankment before it came to rest on right-side up.

Two medical helicopters were called to the scene, state police said. Police at the scene said the driver of the car – a Dodge Stratus – was airlifted to a hospital, as well a female passenger in the SUV. The driver of the SUV was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

The driver of the Stratus has since been identified as Aaron M. Wiegand, 28, of Fort Wayne.  As of Friday afternoon he was listed in critical condition.

The passenger in the SUV has been identified as Walter W. Smith, 60, of Warren.  He was also listed in critical condition as of Friday afternoon.  The driver of the SUV, Candee M. Smith, 55, of Warren was in stable condition according to police. 

Interstate 69 was closed in both directions. The southbound lanes were closed to allow the medical helicopters to land. One of those southbound lanes was reopened just before 10 a.m.

All lanes were reopened around 12:30 p.m.

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