OTTAWA COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) – A fatal accident in Ottawa County left investigators with questions after a pick-up truck rear-ended another car on state Route 579, causing the truck to veer off the road and into a house Monday afternoon, killing the driver.
The accident happened near the intersection of Williston Road and Elliston-Trowbridge Road.
Police say that around 2 p.m. Michael J. Lowe, 29, was slowing down to turn left into the Blackberry Corners Tavern on the corner of 579 and Elliston-Trowbridge Rd. when a Chevy Silverado driven by William H. Miller, 82, from Northwood, OH, failed to stop in time, striking Lowe's vehicle in the rear end.
Miller went off the right side of the road and continued through a field, striking a house. The house and car then caught on fire. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lowe sustained minor injuries and was transported to a hospital where he was treated and released.
Police say the homeowners are alright.
"We hate to see this on a holiday, we put all of our forces out trying to avoid incidents like this, unfortunately today, we didn't fulfill that goal," said Sergeant Joe Hemsworth.
"My first reaction was, we gotta get this guy outta this truck. And when it started smoking we knew that we had better get away before it blows up because there was a lot of smoke and flames coming," said neighbor Shelly Miller, adding her brother was the first one at the scene. He even spoke to the truck driver who Miller says mentioned he was feeling alright.
"I thought my brother thought he could maybe get him out, but once he saw that he was trapped and that the truck was burning, he knew not to touch him of course," Miller explained.
Police say the house sustained serious damage, but the homeowners were able to walk away unharmed. One was sent to a hospital, just for precautionary measures.
The two people inside the Chrysler were also taken to the hospital, but police describe the injuries as non-life threatening.
Hemsworth says these crashes are uncommon:
"I would say rare being that it went into a house. We have handled crashes before that have gone into a house, but this obviously isn't a normal occurrence."
Police say they will continue their investigation. They say they had extra patrol out this holiday weekend for reasons like this, but unfortunately were unable to stop this accident from happening.