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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
A car sits in the median after sliding off Interstate 69 just south of Exit 309 on Thursday after snow began to make for slick driving conditions.

1 killed on slick road; rigs jackknife on I-69

Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
A jackknifed semi on I-69 just south of Exit 311in Fort Wayne blocks southbound traffic for a time on Thursday.

Two jackknifed semis slowed traffic on Interstate 69 Thursday, one near Lima Road and the other in Huntington County.

They were giant and dangerous reminders of the presence of another winter weather system in northeast Indiana.

The roads became bad quickly Thursday, and at 11 a.m., a Columbia City man was pronounced dead at the scene of a single-vehicle crash near Churubusco on Indiana 205. According to the Whitley County Sheriff's Department, Russell Bertrand, 70, lost control of his vehicle because of road conditions and went off the highway. The vehicle landed on its side.

Nearly 2 inches of snow fell Thursday at Fort Wayne International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.

At 7:45 p.m. Thursday, the weather service issued a special statement for an area southwest of Fort Wayne – including Huntington County, North Manchester, and Whitley County. In the statement, forecasters warned of slick and hazardous roads.

The warning coincided with what appeared to be a break in weather-related accident calls for area emergency services.

At one point Thursday, Fort Wayne police stopped responding to any vehicle accident that did not involve injuries, require a tow truck or have an extenuating circumstance. If a vehicle slid into the bumper of the car in front of it, the drivers were told to exchange information, according to officials.

Huntington County Sheriff's Department dispatchers chalked up 15 slide-offs and minor accidents between 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. as drivers paid no attention to conditions and drove too fast.

In addition to the weather statement issued Thursday evening, the weather service issued a hazardous weather outlook Thursday afternoon. That bulletin predicted possible moderate snow accumulations through the weekend and temperatures in the teens by Tuesday.

What's going on now

More snow is forecast tonight and into the weekend. For current conditions, including a local NOAA map, make our Weather page one of your favorites.