STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) – 911 calls reveal the terrifying moments when a car struck several people as they stood outside their vehicles on a local interstate. It happened after they were involved in a crash just moments earlier.
“There’s a car accident, a woman’s on the side of the road, the guardrail and there is a semi-truck like, a dump truck pulled off to the left, oh, the right, and her car is blocking two lanes,” a driver tells the dispatcher during a call to 911.
The driver made the call after witnessing two vehicles that had crashed on Interstate 71 southbound in Strongsville during the Wednesday morning rush hour.
One of the drivers involved also called 911.
DISPATCHER: “Are there any injuries?
“CALLER: “I don’t know, I’m headed over to the driver, I’m in a truck, ok, guy tried to cut in front of me and clipped my truck, he ended up spinning out in front of me.”
As the driver walked over to check on the people from the other car, another vehicle slammed into them, while they were standing outside of their vehicles.
“Is there a way to get that off the road, will it run? Everyone so far is ok…They need to know if they need to send an ambulance,” one of the drivers is heard telling others at the scene.
The sounds of tires screeching and a crash were heard through the phone.
“When that happened, the vehicle that was still in the roadway that was leftover from the first crash, had…the force of that second crash, pushed that vehicle into the pedestrians which was on the side of the road,” explains Sgt. Ray Santiago with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“My leg is caught between the car,” an injured driver tells the dispatcher before screaming in pain.
“Each crash scenario and situation is gonna be different, so if the vehicle is able to be safely moved off the roadway, that’s the best course of action,” says Sgt. Santiago.
Santiago says it is usually better for people to stay inside a disabled vehicle for added protection, if possible. He says each situation is different and advises people not to panic, and make the best decision, keeping safety top of mind.
“So if removing yourself from the vehicle happens to be that decision, make sure you’re well off the roadway. Find a barrier, like a guardrail or something, some sort of cover and wait for first responders to respond, to get there,” he said.
Three people were transported to MetroHealth Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.