OSP: Driver inattention causes deadly chain-reaction crash in Shelby County

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Troopers said the driver believed to be at-fault in a deadly chain-reaction crash on I-75 in Shelby County Thursday was not paying attention.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Troopers said the driver believed to be at-fault in a deadly chain-reaction crash Thursday on Interstate 75 in Shelby County was not paying attention.

Debra Hurst, 60, of Dayton, was killed in the six-vehicle crash that closed north and southbound lanes for hours. Three semi-tractor trailers and three other vehicles were involved.

>> RELATED: Dayton woman, 60, killed in 6-vehicle crash on I-75 north in Shelby County

The driver of a semi hauling grain was not paying attention and didn’t notice traffic slowing, said St. Joseph Gebhart, commander of the Piqua Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. That semi then slammed into the other five vehicles, causing the chain-reaction crash.

Traffic was slow in the area due to roadwork. The Ohio Department of Transportation had lane restrictions about two miles up from where the crash occurred, causing a backup. ODOT had signs warning of the roadwork, troopers said.

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Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors. Troopers said they’ll consult with prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges are warranted for the at-fault driver.

The driver had a CDL license, driving for Trans Alliance Trucking out of Greenville.

ExploreRELATED: U.S. Dept. of Transportation safety record for Trans Alliance Trucking

Distracted driving statistics

  • As of July, there were 21 distracted driving deaths on Ohio roads (4 percent of traffic deaths in Ohio this year)
  • In 2017, there were 80 distracted driving deaths, accounting for 7 pecent of deaths on Ohio roads
  • In 2016, there were 52 distracted driving deaths in Ohio, or 5 percent of total traffic deaths across Ohio

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