A Middlefield man was killed and four others were hurt in a chain-reaction crash Tuesday involving two pickups and three tractor-trailers in an Ohio Turnpike work zone.
Erwin Kuhns, 51, was declared dead at the scene of the crash, reported at 9:21 a.m. in one of two divided westbound lanes about three miles east of the Ohio 53 interchange for Fremont in Sandusky County's Riley Township, said Sgt. Michael Ramsey of the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Milan post.
Kuhns was a passenger in a 2004 Ford F-150 with an extended cab driven by Paul C. Shoff, Jr., 73, of Warren, that ran into the trailer of a 2005 Freightliner Tractor that had struck the rig in front of it after being unable to stop in time for backed-up traffic, the patrol’s report said.
Shoff and another passenger in the pickup, David E. Kuhns, 18, of Middlefield, were taken to Fremont Memorial Hospital as was Walter S. Mozzochi, 46, of Homeworth, the driver of a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado involved in the initial collision.
Angelo J. Muscarello III, 50, of York, Maine, the driver whose rig started the crash, was treated at the scene, Sergeant Ramsey said. He was driving a 2012 Mack Tractor hauling two short semi-trailers.
The other two drivers, Larry M. Centra, 54, of Grampain, Pa. (driving a 2012 Mack Tractor, hauling 2 short semi-trailers) and Larry D. Evans. 53,, of Slippery Rock, Pa. (driving a 1999 International Tractor hauling astandard semi-trailer) were not injured.
As a result of the crash, both fuel tanks of Muscarello's semi were punctured, causing an estimated 140 gallons of fuel to be lost, troopers said. The fuel spill was able to be contained before entering any drainage or water ways.
Traffic on the turnpike had to be diverted to the single left lane of the construction zone, which caused a major back-up. After officers and other personnel cleared the scene at 3:08 p.m. the highway had to be shut down completely. Traffic was diverted off exit 110 (State Route 4) while the cement barricade was reset. The highway remained closed until 3:53 p.m., at which time both lanes were reopened.
Assisting the Milan post at the scene were the Sandusky County EMS, Sandusky County Fire, State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Department, Ohio Turnpike Maintenance, Ohio EPA, Sandusky County Coroner’s Office and Madison’s Towing.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Norwalk Reflector contributed to this story.
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