Traffic collisions in the Toledo area Saturday killed one driver and blocked several major highways, including a 10-hour shutdown of northbound Anthony Wayne Trail at South Avenue.
The fatal crash was reported at 11:42 a.m. on Central Avenue just west of Crissey Road in Sylvania Township.
Daniel D. Messmore, 55, of Metamora, Ohio, was declared dead at the scene where his eastbound auto crossed the center line and collided head-on with a westbound tractor-trailer, troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Toledo post said.
Truck driver Michael R. Bunting, 43, of Toledo was not injured, troopers said. Both drivers wore seat belts.
Central, part of U.S. 20, was closed for several hours. The collision remained under investigation Saturday evening.
At least three people were taken to different hospitals from the scene of a five-car collision on northbound I-75 between the I-280 and Ottawa River Road interchanges that blocked the freeway for a half hour before one lane reopened.
Tom St. Louis, a truck driver from Toronto, said the chain-reaction crash occurred right in front of him as traffic exiting at the Ottawa River interchange backed up in the freeway’s right lane.
“People were coming by me on the right, and someone must have slowed down,” said the truck driver, who was in the left lane and after the crash, turned to block traffic partially so more vehicles wouldn’t speed by or hit the wreckage.
“People were not paying attention,” he said.
The collision caused one auto to overturn and left debris and fluid scattered across the roadway. At least one motorist was extricated from her vehicle's wreckage. Identities and condition information for the injured were not available Saturday evening.
Traffic had backed up approaching the Ottawa River exit because drivers were detouring around the northbound I-75 exit to I-280, which is one of several I-75 ramps closed this weekend for concrete repairs.
Some drivers stuck in the backup after the crash tried to drive through the grass infield at the I-75/I-280 junction to get to I-280, while others exited the wrong way on the Stickney-Lagrange entrance. The area remained congested for several hours after the crash.
The longest-lasting crash headache, however, involved an incident in which no injuries were reported because the driver involved fled the scene.
Toledo police said a sport utility vehicle struck a utility pole at the Trail and South about 3 a.m. and took off afterward.
The crash felled the pole, knocking out electrical service for about 2,800 Toledo Edison customers for up to 4½ hours.
The northbound Trail remained closed until shortly after 1 p.m. while Toledo Edison crews replaced the pole and re-strung wires, and city workers repaired traffic signals. South also was closed at the intersection.
Police said later Saturday they had no further description of the hit-skip vehicle.
Two other crashes occurred within minutes of each other on northbound I-75 near the Collingwood Boulevard entrance ramp onto the highway around 1 p.m.
After a motorcycle crashed in the left lane, another driver struck the center wall, caromed across the highway, and struck the right-shoulder guardrail just after the Collingwood ramp.
The motorcyclist was taken to a local hospital for treatment.