accident

This was the scene of a fatal accident on Interstate 65 Sunday.

A man was killed and his wife seriously injured Sunday in a crash that closed Interstate 65 for hours about 25 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The crash at the Hall-Baker Road bridge over southbound I-65 forced police to detour traffic south along U.S. 52 to the Indiana 267-I-65 interchange.

Theodore E. Engelberth, 67, Palatine, Ill., died instantly at 4:01 p.m. when his Pontiac sedan was hit by a semi driven by Stephen F. Elickson, Waunakee, Ill., Boone County Deputy Neil Randolph said. Wanda L. Engelberth, 37, who was in the Pontiac’s front passenger seat, was taken to Methodist Hospital with a broken arm and possible other injuries.

The impact shoved the Pontiac into the Hall-Baker Road bridge abutment, causing it to shed chunks of metal and a tire.

As the Pontiac slid south along the berm, Elickson’s truck slammed into the rear of a semi driven by Michael W. Phillips, Tonawanda, N.Y., Randolph said.

Neither Elickson nor Phillips was hurt, Randolph said.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management was called because diesel fuel from one of the semis was leaking into a side ditch, Chief Deputy A.J. Naekel said. About 5:45 p.m., Naekel said it could be another three hours before the interstate was opened.

At least three people were hurt in a two-vehicle crash on northbound I-65 as drivers slowed to gawk at the southbound wreckage. Details on that crash were not immediately available.

Officers from Lebanon, Zionsville and Indiana State Police also assisted.

It was Boone County’s first fatal traffic accident of the year.

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