Crash, diesel spill closes I-75 Tuesday in Lima

LIMA – Interstate75 in Allen County was closed for several hours Tuesday afternoon following a multi-vehicle crash near the intersection of state Route 81.

According to Lt. Timothy Grigsby, commander of the Lima post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers were dispatched at approximately 11:41 a.m. and found the northbound lane of I-75 completely blocked by a jack-knifed semi and two other crashed vehicles.

According to the report, a 2006 Dodge pickup truck driven by Albert Morales, 43, of Columbus Grove, was northbound on I-75 when he lost control, struck a guardrail and ricocheted back into traffic. His vehicle struck a 2017 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer rig driven by Russell Hardesty, 75, of Wapakoneta. The Freightliner jack-knifed and pushed the Dodge pickup into a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria driven by John Chapman of Hamilton.

Morales was transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. Chapman and Hardesty were treated at the scene for minor injuries. All occupants wear wearing safety belts.

Grigsby said significant amount of diesel fuel was spilled during the crash. Officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency were called to the scene to oversee cleanup efforts, delaying the opening of the interstate for several hours.

Morales was cited for failure to control.

The Lima Post was assisted on scene by Bath Township Fire and EMS, Allen County Emergency Management Agency, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Beaverdam Fleet, Kinstle’s Towing and Big Daddy’s Towing services.

The crash remains under investigation.

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