I-TEAM investigates construction zone crash, reveals most common crash type across Ohio

Data pix.

(WJW) -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM is investigating crashes in a busy construction zone that more than a 100,000 drivers pass through each day—maybe even you. And, what we found happening there is a statewide problem.

Last month a big truck and an SUV collided where I-480 merges into I-271 North. We found it happened in the most common kind of work-zone crash seen statewide.

“Then I looked in my mirror. And I told my passenger, I said, ‘We’re getting hit by a semi-truck,'" said Ellen Herman who was driving the SUV.

The truck scraped and dented the SUV on the driver’s side in the rear.

Amanda McFarland, with the Ohio Department of Transportation, said, “There were 4,600 work-zone crashes last year in the state of Ohio.”

She said, in this construction zone and in work-zones statewide, the majority of accidents are rear-end or side-swipe collisions just as in this case. And there could be many reasons for that.

“Why that’s exactly the most common type is hard to pinpoint. But a lot of times, its just that there’s a lot going on in the work zone," McFarland said.

Meantime, the crash in this work-zone fits a pattern for much more than simply how it happened.  We looked at look at how this crash matches up with what the state finds most often with accidents at that same spot.

Usually, no one hurt. Just as in this case.

Usually,  it happens on a clear, dry day during the morning rush. Same conditions in this case.

The crashes involve a high percentage of SUV’s. One was involved here.

And this one happened on a Tuesday. That’s the second-most common day.

Herman got hit by the truck, but she says she also got hit with a ticket for her crash. She wants to see more signs or pavement markings to prevent what happened in her case.

She said, “I’m surprised it’s not happening more, daily.” And added, “I’m worried for the safety of others, actually.”

That construction project along I-271 has been going on for years. Records show about two-dozen crashes each year right at that same spot where the accident in this case took place.

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