STREETSBORO, Ohio (WJW) – It was a close call for a local family after a semi truck overturned in their backyard off the turnpike in Streetsboro.
“We were just outside playing and my daughter wanted a snack so we came into the house,” said Sara LoPresti, who lives on Apache Pass.
Minutes later, LoPresti said she heard a loud pop.
“I look out my window and I can see the semi working it’s way down,” said LoPresti.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the semi went through a guardrail from the Ohio Turnpike, down the embankment and flipped over.
It eventually came to rest against a tree in LoPresti’s backyard.
“Police got here pretty quickly, so did the firefighters. They assisted in getting the gentleman out of the truck. As he was walking away, he said ‘Sorry I messed your yard up,” LoPresti said.
Ohio State Highway Patrol later said the semi was heading eastbound in the right lane when it drifted into the south berm and struck the rear of another car before going off the side of the highway.
Both drivers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It’s the exact situation that has concerned Lopresti for years. She said she contacted the turnpike several times to voice her
“We had just been outside. I think about what if we were playing outside and the tree didn’t stop it. My husband was going to cut that tree down and if he had, it wouldn’t have stopped it,” said LoPresti.
FOX 8 reached out to the turnpike regarding Lopresti’s concerns. They released a statement that reads in part:
“The standard for our clear zone (the area where there should be no hazards/obstacles present without protection) is 30 feet, and in this case, the resident’s property line is at least 65 feet from the edge of the roadway.
“Replacing the guardrail with a barrier wall could result in unintended safety consequences by putting a hazard in place where one does not currently exist.
“The current guardrail in place – which meets all safety and design standards to protect motorists and reduce damage to property – was warranted in the area and remains the best option.“
Meanwhile, LoPresti said she still hopes the accident prompts a change.
“I just hope this will prompt the turnpike to make a change, maybe if it’s something better than the guardrails. Maybe the city will see it and get behind us on it,” said LoPresti.
Highway Patrol added that the semi driver, a 66-year-old man from Ontario, was charged with distracted driving and driving in marked lanes.