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Three hospitalized in I-69 accident

CAR: Officialsstand next to the Dodge Stratus that was hit broadside after it crossed the median into oncoming traffic, Friday.

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

A two-car accident on Interstate 69 sent two Warren residents and a Fort Wayne man to the hospital, after a car crossed the median around 8:50 a.m. Friday.

Police are investigating why the 2000 Dodge Stratus driven by Fort Wayne resident Aaron M. Wiegand, 28, went off the road while driving southbound. Indiana State Police public information officer Ron Galaviz said the Stratus spun nearly 360 degrees after going off-road before it was hit broadside by the northbound 2011 GMC Acadia.

The impact caused the Acadia, driven by Warren resident Candee M. Smith, 55, to travel off the roadway and roll over before coming to a rest in the ditch. The Stratus, which came to rest in the northbound lanes approximately 5 miles south of the Markle exit, was nearly unrecognizable as it lay on its side.

Candee M. Smith’s passenger, 60-year-old Walter W. Smith of Warren, and Wiegand were flown to Parkview in critical condition as of Friday afternoon, according to police reports. Candee M. Smith was driven to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, where authorities say she is in stable condition.

Both northbound and southbound traffic were closed because of the crash.

Northbound lanes remained closed for more than three hours as police investigated and officials cleaned the wreck from the northbound lanes. Southbound lanes opened around 10 a.m., after they were to allow the helicopters to land safely, Galaviz said.

The Huntington County Sheriff Department, Huntington County EMA, Parkview Huntington EMS, Markle Fire Department, Warren Fire Department and the Warren Police Department responded to the accident.