Wrong-way crash kills driver; ODOT working to keep you safe

Wrong-way crash kills driver; ODOT working to keep you safe
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: OHGO)
(Source: OHGO)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A man is dead after a fiery wrong-way crash in Toledo Tuesday. The crash also tied up traffic on Interstate 75 for 10 hours.

The victim will have to be identified by dental records, since flames broke out after the crash.

It was a frightening scene just after 1:30 Tuesday morning on 75 south near the 475 split in central Toledo.

A semi driver who witnessed the scene unfold says it's something he's never seen before.

"You know it's my worst nightmare and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I couldn't believe it was real," said Brian Vroomanm, truck driver who witnessed crash.

Vrooman was southbound on 75 and said the SUV going northbound in those southbound lanes just missed him. He was able to see the tragic aftermath.

"There's nothing left of the vehicle. I mean, it's demolished. It's gone," Vrooman said.

Toledo police said the driver of the SUV first hit one semi and then two others when he was killed. But it's still not clear where the driver got on the wrong way and why he did it in the first place.

ODOT said there have been two other wrong-way incidents in Northwest Ohio this year.

In April, a car was stopped and facing the wrong way and the driver passed out inside. There was no crash. But there was a fatal accident in Defiance on U.S. 24 in January, a suspected suicide.

ODOT's records show there have been 17 wrong-way crashes statewide this year with 18 fatalities. In 2015, there were 63 wrong way crashes with 8 fatalities.

2013 saw the most wrong-way accidents in recent years with 76. 11 people died.

ODOT District 2 Deputy Director Todd Audet said they've made sign improvements at some ramps to cut those numbers down.

"We've lowered the signs and put directional indicators so that people know that they're going in the wrong direction," said Audet. "Impaired drivers typically look lower. That's why the signs were lowered."

Audet said wrong-way crashes in Northwest Ohio have not increased since 2012, but he feels it's hard to determine a pattern for where and why they happen.

To protect yourself from a wrong-way driver, always drive defensively. ODOT says act like every car could come into your lane at any time.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2016 WTOL. All rights reserved.