A motorist and her passenger, both 17, died and another person was critically injured Monday morning in a four-vehicle crash along U.S. 30 in Kosciusko County east of Warsaw, the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.
The collision affected both directions of traffic, closing the highway for several hours, police said.
The accident occurred about 9:35 a.m. just west of County Road 450 East when an eastbound car driven by Kirsten Kalene Ganshorn of Walkerton was passing a pickup truck and clipped it, sending both vehicles into the median, police reported.
The pickup driver, Ronald E. Deck, 68, of Warsaw, steered his vehicle back onto the road, police said, but the car spun out of control and crossed the median backwards until it hit the front of a westbound flatbed truck.
The flatbed truck was propelled into a westbound vehicle traveling beside it. That vehicle, a Ford Escape, reportedly went over an embankment, police reported.
Ganshorn was ejected from her vehicle onto the road and was pronounced dead from multiple blunt force trauma injuries, police said. Her passenger, Ashley Nicole Demont, of Argos, was unconscious and airlifted in critical condition with multiple injuries. She later died, police said.
The driver of the flatbed truck, John D. Wise, 49, of Larwill also suffered from multiple injuries and was airlifted to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition, the release said.
Deck and the driver of the Ford Escape, 83-year-old Barbara A. Slater of Claypool were taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital to be medically cleared, police said. Slater reportedly had slight bruising.
A fifth vehicle reportedly sustained damage from flying debris.
The crash remained under investigation Monday afternoon.