Patrol still investigating fatal crash; U.S. 24 reopens


U.S. 24 has reopened in northwest Paulding County after being closed for 1-1/2 days while spills caused by a multi-vehicle, chain-reaction crash were cleaned up.

The Ohio Highway Patrol said it is still investigating the pile-up at U.S. 24 and County Road 87, reported shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, that began when a sport-utility vehicle pulled across the highway into the path of a tanker truck. Ashley Messmann, 28, the SUV driver from Paulding, was killed in the collision.

Other vehicles approaching the scene became involved in seven other accidents as their drivers swerved to try to avoid the wreckage. All told, 10 tractor-trailers, the SUV, a minivan, a passenger car, and a pickup towing a trailer became involved.

Wrecked vehicles blocked U.S. 24 in both directions, and ethanol from the tanker truck leaked into the highway's median. Dense fog was reported in the area at the time of the crashes. The cleanup was reported complete at 8:26 p.m. Wednesday.