Indiana State Police identify driver found dead after crash on I-69, autopsy results pending


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The identity of the driver found dead after a Wednesday crash on I-69 has been released by Indiana State Police. Rafael Lopez, 58, of Fort Wayne was the lone occupant of the vehicle. Autopsy results have yet to be released by the Allen County Coroner’s Office.

Police and medics were called around noon to the 294 mile marker, 2 miles south of the Interstate 469 interchange and the General Motors plant. Indiana State Police said motorists called 911 after Lopez’s vehicle veered off the roadway.

First responders arrived and found a Toyota SUV off the roadway near a wooded area, with Lopex dead inside.

Witnesses told investigators that there were no other vehicles near the SUV when it left the interstate. After it ran off the road, the Toyota crashed through a wire fence and into the wooded area before it came to rest.

Lopez was wearing a seatbelt and the airbags deployed, state police said.

State police said they are hopeful the autopsy will “identify if a possible medical condition or other natural cause may have been a causal factor in this crash.”

The crash remains under investigation.

The interstate was closed for about an hour and a half. It was reopened around 1:45 p.m.

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