Man says he's lucky to be alive after wrong-way crash on Jennings Freeway

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CLEVELAND (WJW)-- The FOX 8 I-Team uncovered mystery behind a fiery crash on a local highway caused by a suspected wrong-way driver. Now, a survivor is speaking out about what happened and why he’s lucky to be alive.

It happened early Saturday morning on the Jennings Freeway in Cleveland. Emergency crews raced to the scene of a fire lighting up the sky. They found a car going the wrong way had hit a truck, kept going and then burst into flames.

“I looked up. I see a light coming toward me," the driver of the truck said. "I seen it was a car. I hit the brakes really hard. I turned to the right."

"I dodged a bullet from going head-collision with it," he said. "So, I turned to the right, and he took out the back of the truck. Seriously, it was like a matter of five seconds."

It left police with a mystery. They found no one inside the car that had been going the wrong way. They got tips about a man and woman walking away from the scene. Later, the owner of that car showed up at a police station asking about her vehicle.

Meantime, before that crash, police received a report of a person at a gas pump slumped behind the wheel of a car. Apparently, the same car then driven the wrong way.

“Radio. Advise fire. The vehicle is on fire. Fully engulfed," an officer said over dispatch radio.

“Front-end damage. It may be the intox driver Adam 37 was calling for…” the dispatcher said.

Police, fire crews, and North Coast Emergency Services had to detour traffic for a long time around the scene on a highway that’s busy even in the overnight hours.

This happened on the same weekend investigators said an 82-year-old man drove the wrong way in Ottawa County, causing another crash. He died. Cameras from the Ohio Department of Transportation captured that driver on the wrong side of the highway.

The survivor hit by the wrong-way driver in Cleveland said he’s grateful to be alive. He lived and hours later, he saw the birth of his first child.

“I’m not a religious guy, but after that night, I thank God He was there," the man said.

We knocked at the home of the woman listed as the owner of the car that police said they believe caused that crash. No one answered.
Cleveland police are now doing follow-up investigating.

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