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‘Miracle, just a miracle’: Local fire chief reacts to a crash involving two semi trucks, driver pinned

WAYNE COUNTY - Video and pictures show what some are calling the miracle on I-71.

Ashland County Pictures sent video and pictures of the scene to FOX 8.  The video shows a crash involving two semi trucks that left one driver pinned inside his vehicle.

"When I saw the pictures I thought at first my husband was dead," said Mary Ann Jakovlkevic, the wife of the victim. "I was just praying so hard. He survived. He is our Christmas miracle."

EMS and firefighters from Town and Country Fire District in West Salem said when they got the call about Tuesday's night crash they were first told there could be a fatality.

"It looked really bad," said Fire Chief Lois Welch, "It was one of the worst we have seen."

As soon as the firefighters got to the scene, they learned the one driver was trapped.

"We knew we had to get him out right away," said Lt. Philip Wigal.

The EMS crew kept the driver calm while the others worked to free him.

"I was very glad that he was able to talk and he was able to tell me where he had pain," said Sarah Maximovich, one of the first responders on scene.

Once he was freed he was taken by a medical helicopter to a hospital.  He is expected to make a full recovery.

"I am so glad it worked out the way it did for him," said Jeremy Herrmann, firefighter and EMT.

The driver's wife, said she is very thankful to all the first responders, including troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

"It's a miracle," said Chief Welch, "Just a true miracle. He had someone watching over him that night."