Two crashes involving semis occurred on the Ohio Turnpike during the overnight hours of Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug. 14-15.
Information released by the Ohio State Highway Patrol stated the first occurred about 11:58 pm, Tuesday, at the 48.3-mile marker, 8.5 miles east of the Delta interchange, and 4.3 miles west of the Toledo Express Airport-Swanton exit.
Jeffrey Rogge, 47, Swanton, was driving a tow truck, and was parked on the side of the road in the eastbound lanes assisting Willard Wheeler, 60, Detroit, Mich., whose semi had broken down.
A second semi, driven by Kendall Ray, 48, Louisville, Ky., was traveling east and collided with Wheeler’s disabled truck, which in turn, was pushed into Rogge’s tow truck.
Rogge and Wheeler were trapped between the vehicles.
After being freed from the wreckage, Rogge was flown by helicopter ambulance to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, where, as of late Wednesday morning, he was listed in critical condition.
Wheeler was taken by ground ambulance to the University of Toledo Medical Center, where he was listed fair condition late Wednesday morning.
Ray was not injured.
The second crash occurred at 1:18 am, Wednesday, when a semi driven by Alexander Larin, 29, Elmwood Park, Ill., collided with another truck that was stopped at the 46.6 milepost, in the eastbound right lane due to a traffic backup caused by the first crash. Larin’s semi then struck a passenger car and another semi before coming to a stop.
The second crash was 6.8 miles east of the Delta interchange, and 6 miles west of the Toledo Express-Swanton interchange.
Larin was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center by helicopter ambulance, but late Wednesday morning, UTMC had no listing for him.
Occupants of the other vehicles received minor injuries.
The eastbound lanes of the Turnpike were closed for about 7 hours. Eastbound traffic diverted off the turnpike at the Delta-Lyons interchange, which is located at the 39.8 milepost.
At about 11:45 am, today, Wednesday, Lauren Hakos, an Ohio Turnpike Commission spokesperson, said the left lane of the eastbound side of the turnpike is closed between the 44.1 and 46.5 mileposts, which has resulted in a traffic backup of about 2 1/2 miles.
Hakos said the left lane will be closed most of the day as crews clean up the wreckage.–Updated 8.15, 3:27pm