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3 killed in multi-vehicle crash in DeKalb County

(WISH-TV file photo)

AUBURN, Ind. (WISH) — Three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash in DeKalb County Wednesday afternoon, according to Indiana State Police.

The crash happened in the northbound lanes of Interstate-69 near mile marker 332 around 3:15 p.m. That’s about three miles north of Auburn.

Authorities say when traffic in the area slowed due to road construction delays, James Crager, 70, of Angola, failed to slow the semi he was driving and crashed into the back of a GMC Acadia SUV. The SUV crashed into the back of a Ford Escape. The Ford Escape then crashed into the back of a Mazda passenger car, which forced the Mazda to crash into the back of a semi.

All five occupants of the GMC Acadia were transported to area hospitals. Two adult passengers of the SUV had to be extricated from the vehicle before they were taken to the hospital. Those two adults later died from their injuries. The other three occupants suffered minor injuries.

The driver of the Mazda was also killed in the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The northbound lanes of I-69 were shut down in the area for more than five hours, creating a long traffic backup for several miles. Southbound lanes were also shut down or slowed to traffic for several hours.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims. Once proper notification is made to next-of-kin, their identities will be made public.

Crash investigators will turn their findings over to the DeKalb County Prosecutor’s Office for review and to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.