‘It must be in the road’: 911 call shows truck driver didn’t realize steel coil killed driver in Butler County

Caption
Fatal crash on US 127 near Morganthaler Road

911 calls include semi driver, woman reporting SUV had been hit on U.S. 127 near Morganthaler Road.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate Wednesday morning’s fatal crash that killed a motorist when an SUV was hit by steel coil that fell from a semi-tractor trailer.

The crash that happened about 6:20 a.m. on U.S. 127 near Morganthaler Road, closed the busy road for about eight hours.

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An autopsy is planned for today and the Butler County Coroner’s Office will release the identity after, according to Martin Schneider, office administrator.

The sheriff’s office released information Wednesday afternoon stating the person killed is a male from the Seven Mile area.

A semi-tractor trailer owned by Total Package Express Inc. was traveling north on U.S. 127, also called Hamilton Eaton Road, and was carrying a steel coil, according to the sheriff’s office. The steel coil became unsecured, fell into the southbound lane and struck a Ford Edge, the sheriff’s office said. The driver of the Ford Edge was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the semi called 911 to report a coil had fallen in the road, but he didn’t know another vehicle had been hit, according to the call.

“I am on 127 north of Hamilton. I am in a big truck. I haul steel and one of my coils came off my trailer,” the truck driver told dispatchers. He said he was about an eighth of a mile from where the coil fell.

When asked where the coil went, he said “traffic is stopped back there so it must be in the road. Nobody is injured or anything, but it came out of my trailer.”

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The truck driver said another motorist driving a truck had run him off the road into the grass several miles back.

The truck driver said he had stopped the other driver to talk about the incident, but he didn’t seem to understand what he was saying.

“I came across the railroad tracks and around the corner, and I just heard something,” he said. Then he stopped and discovered he was missing a coil.

On the other side of the crash, a woman called 911 reporting a SUV in a ditch with a strong smell of gasoline.

“There has been a bad accident, there is debris all the road,” the woman told dispatchers. She and others could not see in the vehicle to see if anyone was inside.

She said she could only see one vehicle. “I don’t even know what they hit.”

A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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