Officials looking to make road safer after cement truck rolls down Valley View hill, crashes into cars

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VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — Police are continuing to investigate a major crash in Valley View involving a cement truck and six other vehicles Thursday morning. Surveillance video shows the truck plowing down off of the Granger Road hill through the intersection at Canal Road.

Police say four people were taken to MetoHealth Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic’s Marymount Hospital, two with severe injuries. No fatalities were reported.

The mayor of Valley View told FOX 8 they are still waiting to find out more from the police investigation. They plan to work with Garfiled Heights and the Ohio Department Of Transportation to address the situation.

“You got to go slow if you’re driving a truck or otherwise you’re in trouble and if your brakes gave out you’re pretty much done,” said Robert Lasko, a driver who often takes that route.

Police speculate something may have been wrong with the brakes but whether it was human or vehicle error is still under investigation.

The speed limit down the hill is 35. ODOT has several signs up at the top of the hill alerting drivers to go into low gear.

“Trucks have to obey that law, use low gear and watch their speed because of the 10 to 14% grade,” said Lt. Jim Speith of the Valley View Police Department.

Lasko worries about the brakes on his vehicle when he travels that portion of Rt. 17.

“In fact I just did today. I was looking on the sides of the road figuring if my brakes gave out where could I go?” he said.

The hill’s dangerous reputation has people who work at the bottom anxious.

“I think they don’t need to let the big trucks come down this hill, I mean it’s too dangerous,” said Sarah Browning.

In 1976 a similar crash involving a runaway truck turned deadly near the same intersection. 8 people were killed and 16 injured. Garfield Heights and Valley View passed a truck ban that year.

“At one time there was a local ordinance for no trucks on that hill, but it’s a state route and the state overruled that,” said Speith.

“They’re supposed to all be allowed to have trucks on them which is what makes this issue out here with Granger Hill and State Route 17 a little bit problematic in banning truck traffic because trucks are supposed to be able to use interstate State and US routes,” said Amanda McFarland with ODOT.

McFarland said the crash and road will be looked at by a district safety review team.

“They’ll look at the area as a whole and try to determine if there’s anything that can be done to help continuously improve safety,” she explained.

Thursday’s crash serves a fresh reminder of how dangerous that hill can be.

“Me and the other gentleman that work here, if we didn’t come into work early yesterday we both would’ve been on our motorcycles at that light and probably would’ve died,” said Browning.

On September 17, another cement truck came down the road and flew through a Burger King parking lot at the corner of Canal and Granger Roads, taking up a tree. Thankfully no one was hurt. Police say the driver told them he was pumping the breaks numerous times and by the time he got to the bottom, there were none.

Continuing coverage, here.

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