One dead, seven injured after fiery turnpike crash in Austintown
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Crash Reconstruction Unit is trying to find out why a truck crashed into five vehicles along the Ohio Turnpike Friday, killing one woman, injuring seven other people, and shutting down the westbound lanes of the highway for nearly eight hours.
According to the Highway Patrol, the crash occurred at 2:45 p.m. about nine miles west of the Route 7 interchange as a commercial truck and five private vehicles were westbound on the highway.
A Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Forte, and Dodge Charger were in the left lane slowed for traffic due to a lane closure ahead.
A Toyota Rav 4 and the Dodge Caravan were stopped in the right lane due to the lane closure.
A Volvo commercial truck failed to stop in time and struck the right mirror of the Santa Fe.
The truck proceeded down the middle of both lanes veering to the right and struck the left rear of the Rav 4 and then the right rear of the Forte.
The Kia Forte was then pushed into the Charger. The truck then struck the Caravan and pinning it against the right side bridge wall with the trailer.
The Caravan caught fire and caught the trailer on fire as well.
A rear seat passenger of the Caravan, Stacy Gardner, age 44 of Massillon, Ohio died at the scene.
The Caravan was driven by Michael Gardner, age 45, of Massillon, Ohio. Gardner was transported to Cleveland Metro Health Medical Center and is listed in serious condition.
Two minor children were traveling with Gardner and treated and released for minor injuries. All occupants were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
The truck was driven by Rahmatkarn Dhillon, age 23, of Surrey, British Columbia (Canada). Dhillon sustained no injuries.
The 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe was driven by Linda Gilboy, age unknown, New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Gilboy was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash and suffered no injuries.
The 2009 Toyota Rav 4 was driven by Elizabeth Barber, age 61, of Philadelphia. Her vehicle had three additional occupants, two were minors, whose names are unknown at this time. All four occupants were transported to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio with minor injuries.
The 2013 Kia Forte was driven by Ruth Woods, age 27, of Warren, Ohio. Woods was transported to unknown with possible serious injuries.
The 2015 Dodge Charger was driven by Christopher Ksepka, of Third Lake, Illinois. Ksepka was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash and sustained no injuries.
All westbound lanes were closed for over eight hours and traffic was diverted to complete the on scene investigation.
Traffic was diverted onto exit 234 (I-680/Youngstown) until the westbound lanes could open again.
The accident is at the same location of a fatal accident that closed the westbound lanes for several hours this past November.