Avilla man dies after wreck in Whitley County

An Avilla man is dead and a Columbia City woman is hospitalized after a four-vehicle wreck in the Tri-Lakes area of Whitley County on Thursday, according to a release from Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.

The accident happened on State Road 9 a little north of CR E 500 N around 6:15 a.m. It started when a GMC SUV started sliding on the icy roadway, the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department said. The vehicle crossed the center line and entered the southbound lane, the SUV then struck a Pontiac being driven by James Ratliff, 41, of Avilla.

The vehicle behind Ratliff’s, a 2000 Saturn, hit the GMC SUV. Then another SUV hit the Saturn.

A 22-year-old Columbia City woman, Ratliff and the driver of the GMC SUV, a 22-year-old Columbia City woman, and Ratliff were taken to Parkview Whitley Hospital. Ratliff was later pronounced dead.

The woman was treated for leg and foot pain.