LIMA — A construction worker was seriously injured after a commercial vehicle hit the bucket of a motorized lift he was in on Interstate 75 early Friday morning.
The Lima post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported the crash happened about 3:55 a.m. on the highway just south of the Reservoir Road overpass.
Joseph M. Laing, a contracted construction worker, 40, of Elida, was inside the bucket on the lift, suspended in the air over the right lane of traffic, the post reported.
Laing was attempting to move the lift eastbound across the northbound lanes of travel. Troopers believed Laing was operating the lift from the air.
That’s when Peter J. Frusti, 49, of Canton, Mich., hit the bucket. He was driving a semi-tractor trailer northbound on I-75, where traffic was reduced to one lane with the right lane being open to traffic.
Laing was thrown from the lift and landed in a grassy area near the berm of the highway. He was not wearing his safety harness at the time of the crash.
Troopers reported he was seriously injured and taken to Lima Memorial Health System by Bath Township EMS. Lima Memorial Health System is refusing to release information on his condition.
Lima post troopers said he was in the Intensive Care Unit as of Friday afternoon. Troopers on the scene said his injuries appeared serious, but did not appear to be life threatening at the time of the crash.
The Ohio Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the Reservoir Road overpass project, confirmed he was working on the bridge at the time of the crash.
Laing is an employee of Eagle Bridge, in Sidney, which is the contractor for the bridge project. Tom Frantz, vice president of Eagle Bridge, confirmed the company was aware of the accident and he was not sure if Laing was on any type of leave following the accident.
Occupational Health and Safety Administration assistant director for the Toledo office Vanessa Martin said her office has not started an investigation into the accident.
“We have not received any information at this point,” she said. “At this point, we haven’t really even been made aware of the situation. However, once we gather the facts and what happened, it does sound like something that would fall under our jurisdiction.”
Frusti was not injured and he is not being charged with anything. Troopers said they expect he was going the posted speed limit or maybe even under it, 55 mph.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted by Bath Township Rescue and Fire and Lafayette EMS.
The crash continues to be investigated and alcohol is not believed to have played a role in the crash.
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