According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Van Wert Post, the area of US 24 near County Road 87 will remain closed for the rest of the day. Hazmat crews are still on the scene and ran into complications during the cleanup process, however they’re trying to have all lanes open for travel by midnight.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Van Wert Post is investigating a multiple vehicle crash that claimed the life of 28-year-old Ashley Messmann of Paulding.
Messmann was driving her car this morning on County Road 87 while 41-year-old Dale Janssens, of Monroe, MI, was driving a semi-truck and trailer eastbound on US 24.
Messmann attempted to cross US 24 and was hit by Janssens. He was hauling a tanker carrying 97% ethanol liquid. The tanker was ruptured in the crash and approximately 1,500 gallons of flammable ethanol liquid leaked into the median. The spill posed no immediate threat to the local community and was contained by multiple fire departments and the E.P.A.
Vehicles traveling east and westbound tried to avoid the initial crash, resulting in 7 more crashes. The 7 additional crashes resulted in 9 individuals being transported to numerous hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Fourteen vehicles were involved in the crashes; 11 commercial vehicles, 2 passenger cars and a pickup truck hauling excavating equipment.
At the time of the crash visibility was reported to be less than 100 feet due to the heavy fog.
Messmann was pronounced dead at the scene by the Paulding County Coroner.
US 24 remains closed at this time.
Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash, but it’s still under investigation.
Information from: Ohio State Highway Patrol