52 cars collided on I-75 in Butler County, Ohio, near Middletown during a snow squall on January 21, 2013.

Highway shutdowns: A dozen times weather, explosions and flying cars brought traffic to a standstill

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.

An ODOT traffic camera captured this scene Sunday when a wrong-way driver struck a tanker filled with gasoline on Interstate 75 in Dayton.
Photo: Staff Writer
ODOT crews began to repair I-75 in Dayton on Monday after a fiery fatal crash closed the highway on Sunday, April 30. A wrong-way driver crashed, head-on, with a gasoline tanker that caught fire. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

April 30, 2017 | I-75 | Downtown Dayton 

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.

» RELATED: Another wrong-way crash claims life, creates havoc as I-75 closed for hours 

» RELATED: I-75 crash: Police release cruiser cam video 

The third time was not quite the charm ODOT officials were expecting as contractors tried again to take down the remaining steel structure of the Jeremiah-Morrow Bridge this past weekend. For the third time, I-71 was shut down on a Sunday morning to allow explosive demolition work to be performed next to new concrete bridges that carry traffic over the Little Miami River Valley in Warren County. One stubborn steel expanse on the north side of the old bridge failed to collapse in the last round of explosive charges, leaving large pieces of the structure intact and still attached to the concrete piers. Chunks of steel structure from the south side of the bridge are being trucked away daily. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

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. 

» RELATED: Taxpayers not on hook for failed implosions of old I-71 bridge 

» WATCH: What does it look like when a bridge refuses to be knocked down? 

» RELATED: Bridge demolition will follow 6 other times structures have been blown up on purpose 

April 19, 2017 | I-75 | Piqua 

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.

» RELATED:  Patrol reports driver overdosed on heroin, crashed on I-75 N near Piqua

Dayton police officer Byron Branch

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. 

» RELATED: Dayton officer helped save colleague injured in icy crash 

Jeff and Rebecca Payne of Centerville share their first dance as a married couple between the stranded cars on U.S. 35. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Stewart, Chris (CMG-Dayton)/CONTRIBUTED

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. 

» WATCH: Newlyweds share first dance on shut down U.S. 35 

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.

» RELATED: Tipp City man accused of walking on NB I-75, causing 4- vehicle crash

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. 

» RELATED: Street racing suspected prior to fatal I-70 crash

An officer passes off a pig after a semitrailer carrying about 2,200 pigs overturned on Route 35 in Xenia Twp. on Monday. Numerous agencies worked to corral the animals after the crash. Officials said Tuesday some of the pigs remained loose in Greene County. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
Photo: Jim Noelker

June 9, 2015 | U.S. 35 | Xenia 

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. 

» RELATED: Tractor-trailer carrying 2,200 pigs overturns on Ohio highway 

June 8, 2015 | I-70 | Englewood 

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.

» RELATED: construction zone death 5th in state this year

Flooding closed Interstate 70 for hours in Huber Heights on Wednesday, May 21. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

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.

» RELATED: Flood waters shut down parts of I-70, I-75 

» RELATED: Historic flash flooding overwhelmed interstates  

More than 52 cars collided on I-75 between Middletown and Monroe, Ohio on January 21, 2013.
Photo: Nick Graham, STAFF PHOTO

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. 

» RELATED: ‘White-out’ conditions lead to 52-vehicle pileup on I-75 

Brennan Eden, 19, of Mason, was involved in a serious car crash Aug. 23 on Interstate 675 near Dayton after he was ejected from his car when it struck the Wagner Rd. bridge on I-675 southbound and broke into three pieces. The man was taken to Miami Valley Hospital by helicopter at about 7:45 a.m.

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.

» RELATED: 5 crazy overturned truck accidents in Ohio  

» RELATED: Drug use passes drinking in fatal crashes 

» PHOTOS: The horror! Beer truck spills load on interstate 

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