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Local man fighting for his life after head-on crash

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jan 14, 2013 at 10:32 PM

The Elyria post of the state Highway Patrol is investigating an injury traffic crash that occurred at 6:18 p.m. Friday near the intersection of Ohio 113 and Gifford Road in Lorain County's Henrietta Township.

Michael Durkalec, 41, of Wakeman, was driving a 2005 Subaru Forester west on Ohio 113 when he came upon a stopped 1994 F350 dump truck, which was waiting to turn left into a private drive.

Durkalec did not stop in time behind the dump truck and attempted to pass it, troopers said. In the process, Durkalec side-swiped the dump truck, drove left-of-center and collided head-on with an eastbound Ford F150. Durkalec's vehicle came to a stop in the middle of the roadway, while the Ford F150 was driven off the south side of the road and came to rest in a yard.

Durkalec was flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to Cleveland MetroHeath Medical Center, where he was listed in "extremely critical condition" Saturday night. Seatbelt use is unknown at this time. Drug/alcohol use unknown at this time, troopers said.

The driver of the F150, Brent Leimbach, 33, of Amherst, was trapped in the vehicle and extricated by medical personnel, troopers said. He was flown by LifeFlight to Cleveland Metro with non-life threatening injuries. Seatbelt use is unknown. Drug/alcohol use also is unknown at this time, troopers said.

The driver of the dump truck, Timothy O’Brien, 43, of Wakeman, was not injured, troopers said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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