AUBURN – Authorities have released the names of the three people killed in a multi-vehicle crash on I-69 in DeKalb County.
Indiana State Police say the victims are 65 year old William Heil of Angola, along with 81 year old Dale Lowe and his wife 72 year old Jean Lowe, both of Charlotte, Michigan.
Investigators say at 3:15 PM Wednesday, they were called to I-69 near Mile Marker 332, approximately 3 miles north of Auburn. Traffic in the northbound lanes was slowed down or stopped because of road construction near the Waterloo exit.
A semi driven by 70 year old James Crager of Angola was approaching the slowed traffic at a high rate of speed. Crager failed to slow down or take evasive action to avoid the congested traffic.
Crager's semi hit the rear end of an SUV driven by 34 year old James Coppernoll of Lansing. The SUV went off the road and down into the ditch. The semi continued north, crashing into the rear of another SUV, driven by 83 year old George Sprow of Angola, which also went off the right side of the road.
Crager then crashed into the rear of a passenger car, driven by Heil. Heil's vehicle struck the rear of another semi, sustaining catastrophic damage.
Two other vehicles, driven by 24 year old Cassten Everidge of Hudson and 44 year old Shane Reed of Corunna, took evasive action and avoided the collision. There was minor damage done to their vehicles, but the drivers were not injured.
The Lowe's were passengers in the Copppernoll vehicle. All five people in the automobile were taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center. The Lowe's later died from their injuries.
Heil was pronounced dead at the scene.
The second semi was driven by 28 year old Nasib Noor of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and was not injured.
Both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-69 were shut down for over five hours and traffic was detoured. Crash reconstruction experts were called to help with the investigation.
Once the investigation has been finished, a report will be sent to the DeKalb County Prosecutors Office for review and to determine if any criminal charges may be file
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