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2 dead in crashes caused by icy roads

Two people were killed in crashes Saturday, one of which was a three-vehicle crash that shut down all lanes of Interstate 69 in Huntington County, area police said.

The name of the person who died in the I-69 crash has not been released yet, pending notification of family.

Vehicles driven by Eric Christopherson, 26, of Missouri, and the victim were traveling north at approximately 7 p.m. when the two vehicles collided because of icy road conditions, according to a report from the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department.

Both drivers got out of their vehicles and were talking at the crash site near the Wabash River Bridge, when a third northbound driver lost control and crashed into the two parked vehicles.

The victim, who was standing between the vehicles, suffered multiple traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Christopherson’s car caught on fire following the collision, police said. Christopherson sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Lutheran Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the third car, Herbert Pringle IV, 27, of Lawrence, Mich., was not injured.

Dozens of crashes occurred throughout the area because of slick roads Saturday night. Some of the other crashes involved minor injuries, police said.

A 21-year-old driver who wasn’t wearing his seat belt died Saturday night when he crashed his car and was ejected from the vehicle, according to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.

Derek Franz of Monroeville was traveling east in the 17000 block of Hoagland Road, just west of Clayton Road, around 11 p.m. when his pickup truck crossed the centerline and left the roadway, said officer Jeremy Tinkel, Allen County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Franz’s Chevy pickup truck hit a guardrail and a concrete barrier, causing it to roll over several times, Tinkel said.

Franz died at the scene of blunt-force trauma, the Allen County Coroner’s office said.

Franz was the only person in the truck, and his truck was the only vehicle involved in the crash, police said. That stretch of Hoagland is in rural Allen County southeast of Interstate 469.

Franz is the 30th traffic fatality for Fort Wayne and Allen County in 2013.