BOWLING GREEN -- Three people were injured early today in a car-truck crash that triggered a brief fire on I-75 south of here near U.S. 6.
An auto driven by Derek W. Dingus, 32, of Milton Center, Ohio, was southbound on the interstate about 2:30 a.m. and struck the rear of the truck driven by Russell E. Gartha, 62, of Flat Rock, Mich., according to Ohio Highway Patrol troopers from the Bowling Green post.
The impact pushed the truck off the right side of the road. It overturned, trapping Mr. Gartha.
Troopers said the Dingus car also went off the right side of the road. As the car came to a stop a fire started; it burned only briefly.
Responding troopers helped to extricate both drivers from their vehicles, as well as Nicholas L. Boulis, 31, of Bowling Green, a passenger in the Dingus vehicle. Mr. Dingus and Mr. Boulis were treated at Wood County Hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries, troopers said. Mr. Gartha, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered minor injuries and refused treatment.
Mr. Dingus and Mr. Boulis were not wearing their seat belts. Alcohol use contributed to the crash, and Mr. Dingus was subsequently charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of intoxicants and reckless driving. He was cited by troopers for not wearing his seat belt.