Traffic on southbound I-75 in central Toledo was tangled for more than four hours yesterday afternoon when a tractor-trailer crashed into a bridge abutment, jackknifed, and sent debris flying into the northbound lanes.
It was a second crash within 12 hours involving a tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes of I-75 near the Bancroft Street overpass. Both accidents were caused primarily because of wet road conditions, police said.
The truck drivers were treated at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, and were cited for failure to control their vehicles.
“It was like a parking lot pretty much,” said Jennifer Jablonski, a Toledo police officer. Officer Jablonski, like other motorists, were late to work and other destinations after the semi crashed about 1:15 p.m. Debris hit three vehicles.
The truck driver, Arthur Hicks, Sr., 44, of Dayton, was driving a nearly empty rig when he lost control. He was trying to regain control of the truck when it hit the abutment, knocking off part of the wall near the overpass, Officer Charles Turner said. The center median was pushed into the northbound lanes, police said.
The truck jackknifed across the southbound lanes. The motor flew about 25 feet down the highway, and truck parts hit vehicles traveling north, Sgt. Richard Murphy said.
The drivers whose vehicles were hit by the debris were not hurt, Officer Dave McClellan said.
About 100 gallons of fuel spilled onto the highway and entered the sewer system. It may have trickled into the Ottawa River, police said.
Three northbound lanes were closed for almost three hours. Two southbound lanes reopened about 5:20 p.m.
About 12 hours before the crash, another semi had jackknifed in the same area.
David L. Leugers, 31, of Saint Henry, Ohio, was driving south about 1 a.m. when he lost control of his rig, police said.
The semi jackknifed and hit a concrete barrier on the side of the road. The truck slid along the barrier for about 250 feet before stopping, police said.