In all, there were seven vehicles involved, six persons suffered minor to life-threatening injuries, and three first responders from local Fire Departments were transported due to heat exhaustion.
Below is the information provided in the reports of the three accidents from state Highway Patrol.
Husband, wife lose limbs after being run over by commercial vehicle
At about 12:59 p.m. troopers were sent to an injury crash on the Ohio Turnpike just west of the State Route 53 (Mile Post 91) entrance ramp westbound. The investigation determined a westbound motorcycle was traveling too fast down the entrance ramp and lost control.
The cycle sideswiped a commercial motor vehicle, which was also traveling west. The impact caused the bike to fall on its side, directly into the path of the commercial vehicle’s trailer tires. The cycle and the two occupants were then run over, ejecting both onto the roadway.
The husband and wife from Indiana, whose names are not being released, were seriously injured as both suffered limb amputations from the impact with the commercial vehicle. Both riders were taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo.
Both are in serious, but stable conditions today.
During the investigation of this crash, all westbound lanes were stopped for St. Vincent Life Flight causing a significant back-up to the holiday weekend traffic.
Medical emergency causes injury crash
At 1:33 p.m. a westbound passenger car failed to stop with assured clear distance and struck an SUV. Investigation at this scene determined the driver of the at-fault vehicle was suffering from a diabetic incident, which caused the crash.
Those injured in the SUV refused treatment, but the female driver suffering the diabetic incident was transported by Sandusky County EMS to Fremont Memorial Hospital.
Commercial vehicle overturns, catches fire and hits two vehicles
At 2:12 p.m. a commercial motor vehicle traveling westbound failed to maintain an assured clear distance and swerved to avoid a direct collision with stopped traffic from the two previous traffic crashes.
At mile post 95, this commercial vehicle struck the median wall causing it to overturn. While sliding down the road on its side, the commercial vehicle caught fire and then struck a separate commercial vehicle and a passenger car.
The at-fault driver, whose name is being withheld by law enforcement authorities, was seriously injured and later flown by St. Vincent Life Flight to St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo. He is in stable condition today.
The Clyde Fire Department responded to the scene of the crash due to the commercial vehicle fire, and the flames and heavy smoke caused two eastbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike to be shut down. Responders from Clyde also requested assistance from the Sandusky Township Fire Department.
During the incident three firefighters suffered severe heat exhaustion. Two were taken by Sandusky County EMS to Fremont and Bellevue Hospitals. The third firefighter was flown from the scene by St. Vincent Life Flight to St. Vincent Hospital.
These incidents caused extensive back-ups not only on the Ohio Turnpike, but on local routes due to traffic being diverted off the Turnpike because of the temporary road closure. Ohio Turnpike maintenance crews and Madison’s Towing were able to get all eastbound lanes and two westbound lanes open at 5:44 p.m. In all, the sections of the Ohio Turnpike were closed for four hours.
“Roadway safety is a shared responsibility, everyone can contribute to making our roadways safer by following traffic laws, wearing safety belts and driving sober,” the state Highway Patrol said in its report.