GREEN, Ohio (WJW)– An Ohio Department of Transportation official called it a miracle that an employee survived the fiery crash on Interstate 77 in Summit County on Thursday.
A dump truck hit an ODOT vehicle on the side of the northbound lanes near Graybill Road in Green shortly after 7 a.m. The crash caused an explosion as the two trucks continued down a slight embankment. Other drivers pulled over and ran towards the burning vehicles to help.
ODOT said its highway technician has serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said the dump truck driver’s injuries are life threatening.
Ohio District 4 deputy director Gery Noirot said the ODOT worker was inside the truck was hit. He had pulled over to pick up trash along the side of I-77.
The sheriff’s office said the case of the crash remains under investigation.
“We’ll let the Summit County Sheriff’s Office do their investigation to determine what happened this morning, but what I can tell you is that I hear far too often from our folks that they see drivers paying attention to things other than the roadway. This has to stop. The law says move over and slow down for roadside workers. But if your attention isn’t on the road, you’ll never see them in the first place,” Noirot said.
He also spoke about speeding in construction zones. Noirot said in this particular zone where the speed limit is 55 mph, ODOT has clocked cars going in excess of 90 mph.
The employee has worked for ODOT for about 10 years. His wife and two children are by his side, according to Noirot.