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Published: Saturday, 8/31/2002

Tow-truck operator killed when struck by semi

BELLEVUE, Ohio - A Sandusky man was killed yesterday when a tractor-trailer rig struck him on the Ohio Turnpike as he tried to load a disabled vehicle onto his wrecker.

Frank Protzman, Jr., 34, was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Milan post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, Mr. Protzman was on the berm of the turnpike's westbound lanes when he was struck by the westbound semi, driven by Joseph Abbett, 24, of Chesterfield, Ind.

Mr. Abbett, who was driving for Roland Rose Trucking of Laurel, Ind., was not hurt. He was charged with vehicular homicide and is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Erie County Court in Milan.

Troopers were investigating the cause of the crash yesterday.

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