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Video shows chain-reaction crash on downtown Cleveland highway

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Ohio Highway Patrol has released video from a trooper’s car caught in the middle of a chain-reaction crash during a traffic stop on a busy and dangerous stretch of downtown Cleveland highway.

It happened earlier this month after a trooper had stopped a driver for “multiple violations” and that driver stopped in the middle of one lane, not on the side of the road.

The video shows the trooper got the driver’s license; he walked back to his patrol car, and the patrol car shook from impact seconds after the trooper sat back inside.

Turns out, one car hit another, that led to the trooper’s car getting slammed from behind, and the patrol car hit the vehicle that had been stopped. One car ended up on top of another.

Photo: Kevin Freeman, Fox 8

Ashley Williams drove the car that hit another from behind and her vehicle ended up underneath the other.

Williams said the car in front of her slowed and then suddenly stopped. She said, "As I seen their brake lights, approaching, I started to slow down also, and they came to a complete stop. So at that point, my speed was too high ‘cause you don't expect someone to stop on a freeway."

It happened where I-77 meets I-90 with traffic getting on and off the highway at the same time. Police have been concerned about crashes there and close calls.

So what about making a traffic stop with heavy traffic and drivers merging there? Highway Patrol supervisors told the I TEAM the trooper certainly never expected that driver to just stop in the middle of the road.

On the video, you hear the trooper tell the driver, “I just need a license and registration, just sit tight for me, and I'll get you out of here in just a minute, OK?”

On the version of the video released, you do not hear, however, the trooper telling the driver to pull off to a safer spot.

Ashley Williams said she couldn’t move right or left. She added, "I couldn't go to the right because of the poles; that's the entrance to the freeway. I couldn't go to the left because I would've been cutting that car (other traffic) off."

Williams is facing a couple of traffic charges now. She plans on fighting them. But she’s also taking a broad view of it all, saying, "It was a tragic accident. But I'm grateful, I'm still standing." She’s also pregnant, and she says it appears the baby will be OK.

Read more, here.