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Semi driver in critical condition after crash

Aaron Krause • Oct 13, 2013 at 3:32 PM

A semi driver sustained serious injuries and was flown to a Cleveland hospital following a one-vehicle crash on Ohio 303, north of Hanford Road.

The driver, Merle (Les) L. Parker Jr., 63, was listed in critical condition Friday evening.

Lt. Doug Hamman, commander of the Norwalk post of the state Highway Patrol, said the driver was traveling east on Ohio 303 in a 2006 Volvo tractor-trailer at 1:34 p.m. when he went off the south side of the road and hit a guardrail and utility pole.

The rig, which was hauling one steel coil on its flatbed, stopped partially in a ditch and on a guardrail, Hamman said. He added the semi was in the process of going around a slight curve when it went off the road.

Parker, who was wearing his seatbelt, was removed from the vehicle by Wakeman firefighters and ambulance personnel.

Hamman referred to the injuries as "severe." The driver was flown by a LightFlight helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The cause was under investigation as of Friday afternoon, although Hamman said neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected.

Ohio 303, from Ohio 60 to Ohio 511, was closed for several hours Friday as crews removed the wreckage and coil of steel. By 9:30 p.m., the road had re-opened.

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