BOTKINS – Two semi drivers, including one who was trapped for approximately two and a half hours, were transported by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital following a crash Monday afternoon on Interstate 75.
Emergency crews responded to a crash involving four semis and a pickup truck at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday in the southbound lane of I-75, just north of exit 104.
In addition to the two semi drivers who were transported by CareFlight with significant physical trauma, two other individuals were injured, said Sgt. Vee Witcher from the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Piqua Patrol Post. One was taken to St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima and one to Wilson Health in Sidney.
Witcher said a chain reaction crash occurred when traffic slowed.
“Traffic southbound had slowed,” Witcher said. “The first commercial slowed for traffic ahead and then the subsequent rear-end collisions occurred behind it.
“We think that the first two commercials got slowed and then there was a collision between the third, the fourth then the pickup truck rear-ending the back of the commercial trailer.”
The drivers of the third and fourth semis were trapped in their vehicles following the collision. First responders used the Jaws of Life to extricate the driver of the third semi from his vehicle.
The driver of the fourth semi was trapped for approximately two and a half hours before he was freed. The trailer of his semi had crashed into the cab of the vehicle, pinning him inside. First responders used the Jaws of Life, hydraulic lifts and tow trucks to free him.
“I’ve been doing this job for over 30 years, and I would have to say that the response time, first of all, was exemplary by all personnels, and they utilized very professional and timely efforts to get that driver out as safely as they could considering that type of wreckage and collision,” Witcher said.
Southbound I-75 was closed for approximately four hours following the crash, and northbound 1-75 was closed intermittently.
Witcher said the investigation will continue and urged drivers to pay attention to their surroundings including unexpected slowdowns.
“It was reported that ODOT was out conducting mowing, however, it was just normal traffic flow,” he said. “In crashes of this magnitude, it’s important that, you know, you leave a space cushion between your vehicles and expect traffic to slow and stop.”
Reach this writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.