BUTLER TWP. — UPDATE: The identity of the driver who died following the multi vehicle crash on I-75 Friday afternoon has been identified as Robyn Birzer, 20, of Blanchester, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol
Birzer was driving a Ford Escape at the time of the crash, State Troopers said.
The conditions of the people who were injured in the crash is unknown at this time.
We will update this story as we learn more.
INITIAL REPORT: Traffic on Northbound Interstate 75 at I-70 is moving again after a semitrailer on the ramp from I-70 West to I-75 North went off the left side of the ramp, through grass, and into the northbound lanes of I-75 where it struck four vehicles, the Dayton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
The semi that triggered the collisions was driven by Lilemon Ferguson, 59, of Columbus. Ferguson’s rig hit three northbound vehicles -- another semi driven by Ntunzwenimana Mathieu, 38, of Dallas, Texas; a Honda Civic driven by Clayton Barhorst, 23, of Lebanon; and a vehicle identified by the patrol as an “additional passenger car.”
“A semi was entering Northbound Interstate 75 (from I-70) when it went off the entrance ramp through the grassy area and came back on to the pavement and struck a vehicle going north,” patrol Sgt. Rodney Kiefer told News Center 7′s Haley Kosik earlier Friday afternoon. “That vehicle was pushed along the wall and the semi went into the wall.”
After the semi hit the three northbound vehicles, it struck a concrete median barrier wall. Pieces of the barrier wall were knocked into the southbound lanes of I-75 and fire crews struggled with putting out the flames because one of the semis was carrying cardboard. Debris from that wall struck a southbound Camaro driven by Terrance Toth, 71, of Tipp City.
Southbound I-75 was closed approximately three hours but reopened after 5:30 p.m.
The ramp from I-70 to I-75 North is also back open.
All lanes of Northbound I-75 reopened just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
The semi and the “additional passenger car” that had been in the northbound lanes caught fire. The driver of that car died at the scene. The identity of that driver is unknown at this time, the patrol said.
Kiefer told Kosik that a smaller SUV was trapped between the semitrailers and another vehicle was also pinned between the semi and the concrete wall.
Ferguson, Mathieu and Barhorst suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They were taken to Miami Valley Hospital by ground ambulance. Toth was not injured.
The crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed, the state patrol said.
Friday night, a witness to the crash spoke with News Center 7′s Kosik.
“I was in immediate shock,” Robert Maley said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God what is going on?’ ”
Maley was on his way to work in the Shelby County village of Anna when the accident occurred right in front of him.
“It was terrible. It was a horrific accident,” he said. “Ten seconds sooner, we would have been hit. . . . I can’t imagine what the families are going through.”
Emergency crews were called to the crash about 2:45 p.m.
Troopers were assisted by fire crews from Harrison Twp., Huber Heights, Butler Twp., and Tipp City; police officers from Vandalia, Huber Heights, Butler Twp.; Englewood Truck Towing & Recovery; Hollis Towing; Sandy’s Towing and Recovery; the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Anyone with information regarding the crash investigation is asked to call the Dayton Post at 937-832-4794.
We will update this report as we learn more.
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