10 taken to hospitals from rear-end collision that shut down I-71 in central Ohio

A rear-end collision on I-71 North near Jeffersonville in central Ohio started Wednesday’s four-vehicle crash that sent 10 people to various area hospitals and led to the shutdown of the interstate, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Thursday.

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The patrol’s Wilmington Post, in continuing its investigation of the crash that occurred just after 4:10 p.m. in Jefferson Twp., Fayette County, gave this preliminary account of what happened:

A 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and 2020 Jeep Wrangler were headed north on I-71 when the first car driven by Jakhongir Normatov, 32, Cincinnati, rear-ended the Jeep driven by Brian Bush, 39, Columbus in the center lane. Both cars traveled off the left side of the road and into the median.

The Mercedes came to rest in the median but the Jeep overturned and rolled through the median and onto southbound I-71.

The Jeep hit a 2014 Chrysler Town & Country driven by Megan Gifford, 51, Mount Sterling, and a tractor-trailer combination driven by Brian Singh, 50, Sterling Heights, Mich., struck both the Jeep and Chrysler. The Chrysler and Jeep continued off the right side of the road and ended up in the right lane and right shoulder of the interstate.

Normatov was taken by ground ambulance to Miami Valley Hospital - Jamestown E.R. with possible injuries. Normatov’s two passengers, Bakhodir Toshniyazov, 27, Loveland, and Kamol Nematov, 28, Cincinnati, were taken by ground ambulance to area hospitals with possible injuries.

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Gifford was treated on scene, but not transported. Three of her five passengers -- Anna Tomlinson, 76, Michael Tomlinson, 76, and Ella Gifford, 20, suffered serious injuries and were taken by air ambulance to Grant Hospital in Columbus. Gifford’s other two passengers. who also suffered serious injuries, were taken by ground ambulance to area hospitals.

Bush, who was driving the Jeep, was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Singh, the semi driver, was not injured.

The state patrol provided no updates on the conditions of any of the victims.

The interstate was shut down at least two hours.

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