Planned and unplanned explosions, overdoses, overturned semi-trailers, flooding — and more tragically, fatality accidents — have all forced complete shutdowns of area highways in one direction or both.
As the summer peak driving season nears, it’s a good reminder to practice safe, defensive driving so fewer accidents like a number of the ones below lead to closures and long delays.
April 30, 2017 | I-75 | Downtown Dayton
A wrong-way driver plowed head on into a semi hauling a tanker of gasoline. The collision and following explosions sent fireballs skyward and plumes of black smoke pouring over Dayton neighborhoods north of downtown. The tanker and its contents burned for more than an hour. The driver of the car, identified as 30-year-old Andrew Brunsman from Beavercreek, was killed, and the truck driver suffered minor injuries. Authorities shut down the entire highway. Pavement was damaged by the inferno at the accident site, causing delay to reopening some southbound lanes.
May 14, 2017, other dates | I-71 | Warren County
Interstate 71 in Warren County has been closed to all traffic multiple times in the past years as spans of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge on Interstate 71 in Warren County were brought down by explosives. Despite four attempts within a month, implosions failed to bring down the remaining structure.
April 19, 2017 | I-75 | Piqua
A driver overdosed and crashed, bringing southbound traffic on I-75 north of Piqua to a halt. A 9-1-1 caller reported an erratic driver all over the lanes, but when troopers got to the area the driver had already wrecked into a guardrail. The driver was revived with four doses of Narcan and transported to the Upper Valley Medical Center. Joseph Lucas, 29, of Sidney, was issued a summons to appear in court on charges of OVI, failure to control, driving under suspension and drug possession.
Dec. 16, 2016 | I-75 | Dayton
As freezing rain stuck to the roadway, Dayton Police officer Byron Branch was checking on an accident outside his cruiser when it was struck by a motorist and slammed into him. The accident shut down I-75 North and U.S. 35 in both directions. The rookie cop lost his leg in the accident.
Nov. 26, 2016 | U.S. 35 | Dayton
For better or worse, a just-married couple on the way to their reception became stuck in traffic after a multiple-vehicle accident shut down the westbound lanes of U.S. 35 near Steve Whalen Boulevard. The road was closed for nearly two hours. Jeff and Rebecca Payne of Centerville made the best of it, sharing their first dance as a married couple between the stranded cars.
Oct. 31, 2016 | I-75 | Troy
An intoxicated man reportedly walking between lanes on I-75 brought northbound traffic to a standstill for an hour after he caused a four-vehicle chain-reaction accident. Three people were injured in the crash, and Eric Ramos, 21, of Tipp City, was charged with disorderly conduct and being intoxicated on the interstate on foot.
Aug. 26, 2016 | I-70 | Huber Heights
Eastbound I-70 was closed for nearly six hours after a man in a suspected street race eluding troopers crashed into a utility pole and sent a number of power lines over the roadway. Shane English, 20, of Fairborn died as a result of the crash.
June 9, 2015 | U.S. 35 | Xenia
A tractor-trailer carrying 2,200 piglets overturned on U.S. 35 near Xenia. About half the pigs died, and the roadway was closed for eight hours as the other half was collected and the accident cleaned up and investigated. The driver of the tractor-trailer was later found guilty in Xenia Municipal Court for not maintaining reasonable control.
June 8, 2015 | I-70 | Englewood
A road worker was hit and killed in a chain-reaction crash in a construction zone. According to state police, a dump truck tried to merge onto I-70 east in the construction zone west of North Main Street around 3:45 a.m. The dump truck hit a semi, also traveling east, which caused the semi to lose control and hit the worker, construction equipment and a concrete barrier. Daniel Walker, 43, of Dry Ridge, Ky., died at the scene. It took nine hours to reopen the eastbound lanes.
May 21, 2014 | I-70 at Huber Heights | I-75 at Troy
“Mother Nature really hit us between the eyes on this one,” said Randy Chevalley, Deputy Director of ODOT District 7, after record amounts of rain in a short time flooded the region’s primary interstates. High water made several sections impassable. Flooding of Interstate 70 in Huber Heights was the worst, ODOT said. Eight vehicles were stranded in the high water, and drivers had to be rescued. Water shut down the highway for a quarter-mile from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., leaving some motorists without food, water and restroom facilities.
Jan. 21, 2013 | I-75 | Middletown
A snow squall that created “white-out” conditions and slick roads caused 52 vehicles — including two semitrailers — to crash into each other one after another. Wreckage was left scattered across the southbound lanes near the Ohio 122 exit in Middletown and backing up traffic for miles. No one involved suffered life-threatening injuries, though nine people went to Atrium Medical Center for treatment of bumps and bruises, officials said.
Aug. 23, 2010 | I-675 | Beavercreek
A dramatic airborne crash caught on video by a Sugarcreek Twp. officer on routine duty closed the southbound lanes for five hours. Beavercreek police had released 19-year-old Brennan Eden of Mason from custody roughly 20 minutes before his vehicle went into the median at high speed, hit a guardrail and went airborne into an overpass column at Wagner Road. Eden miraculously survived after he was ejected from the disintegrating Pontiac Firebird.
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