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Paulding woman, 28, killed in multi-vehicle crash in Paulding County

Ethanol leak closes U.S. 24


Emergency personnel from multiple departments on the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on U.S. 24 near Paulding County Road 87 near Cecil, Ohio.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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CECIL, Ohio -- A stretch of U.S. 24 remains closed after a multi-vehicle, chain-reaction crash Tuesday morning just west of this Paulding County community that killed a Paulding woman and resulted in an ethanol spill, the Ohio Highway Patrol said. 

As of Wednesday afternoon the area of US 24 between State Rt. 49 and U.S. 127 will remain closed until at least midnight and 4-6 a.m. Feb. 7 because of equipment breaking down and the discovery of an additional amount of hazardous material that must be removed from along the roadway.

Ashley A. Messmann, 28 of Paulding, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the patrol's Van Wert post.

The crash occurred about 8 a.m., Tuesday, the patrol said, when Ms. Messman, who was driving a 2000 Chevy Blazer northbound on Paulding County Road 87, attempted to cross U.S. 24 and was struck by an eastbound semi pulling a tanker driven by Dale D. Janssens, 41, of Monroe.

PHOTO GALLERY: Multi-vehicle crash on U.S. 24 in Paulding County

East- and westbound vehicles trying to avoid the initial crash resulted in seven more collisions involving 14 vehicles - 11 commercial vehicles, 2 passenger cars and a pickup. Nine individuals were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, the patrol said.

The collision caused the tanker to rupture and about 1,500 gallons of flammable ethanol leaked into the median, but the spill was contained by multiple fire departments and Ohio EPA officials, the patrol reported. 

The patrol was assisted on scene by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Department, multiple fire and EMS departments, Paulding and Defiance County’s Emergency Management Agency, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Red Cross and the Ohio EPA.

Troopers said heavy fog with a visibility of less than 100 feet was reported at the time of the crash.

Cecil is about 69 miles southwest of Toledo

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