Two dead after fiery I-469 crash, victims identified

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Smoke could be seen from miles away after a fiery crash on I-469 in New Haven yesterday afternoon.

It happened at around 4:45pm near the US 24 interchange after a semi hit the rear end of another vehicle, which then hit a second semi, which then hit a third semi, which rolled over and hit another vehicle, according to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.

The massive fire that resulted from the crash forced the closure of both northbound lanes and one southbound lane of the interstate.

Emergency crews fought for several hours to put out the blaze which destroyed both vehicles, and a crew was back out there at 3:30am today to remove what was left of the wreckage.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office says two people died in the crash. They were later identified as Benjamin T. Zimmerman, 20 of Defiance, Ohio, and Joseph W. Hedges, 27 of Toledo, Ohio.

The cause of death for both Zimmerman and Hedges has been determined to be Blunt Force Injuries and the manner of death for both men has been ruled an accident.

The incident is still under investigation.

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