Traffic in the Dayton, Ohio, area will be impacted for a while as authorities make sure Interstate 75 is safe to reopen following a fatal crash Sunday.
A car was traveling the wrong way on I-75 on Sunday afternoon when it hit a gas tanker, causing a massive explosion that forced police to shut down traffic in both directions, WDTN-TV reports. The driver of the vehicle going in the wrong direction was killed, while the driver of the semi sustained minor injuries.
A man who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash reportedly said he and another motorist tried to help the driver, but were unable to because of the intensity of the smoke and flames.
“I knew it was bad,” witness Victoria McNeal told WDTN-TV. “Especially, when you heard the explosions.”
Because the blaze was so large, and was started by an accelerant, emergency personnel had to wait for the flames to burn out on their own before applying firefighting foam. After the fire was under control, officials had to ensure the highway was safe to reopen.
“The Department of Transportation is on-scene and they are going to make an assessment of the freeway to make sure it’s structurally sound,” Dayton Police Lt. Mark Ponichtera said, via WDTN-TV. “And they have representatives on-site to begin their repairs so we are able to conduct our accidents investigation and at this moment we are not able to begin to do that.”
All northbound lanes on I-75 reportedly had been reopened as of 10:50 a.m. Monday, as well as two southbound lanes. The lanes in which the accident occurred remain close, as contractors still need to remove any damaged pavement and repaint the road.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@FOX19