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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2003

I-75 pileup injures 10 people

BY MIKE BARTELL AND IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Emergency personnel check on travelers on the side of I-75 after the accident, which began when a tractor-trailer struck a vehicle that had slowed for construction ahead. Emergency personnel check on travelers on the side of I-75 after the accident, which began when a tractor-trailer struck a vehicle that had slowed for construction ahead.
FRASER / BLADE Enlarge

A 14-vehicle accident on northbound I-75 near the South Avenue interchange last night seriously injured 10 people and resulted in what one fire official described as “a quarter-mile area that's pretty chaotic.”

An undetermined number of people were treated at the scene.

“We've got [injured] people all over the place,” the fire official said.

Firefighters quickly established a triage area to identify the most seriously hurt people and get them to hospitals as expeditiously as possible.

Two people were pinned in the wreckage of their vehicles for a time.

Firefighters told officials at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center and Medical College of Ohio and Toledo hospitals to expect several severely injured people to arrive at each facility.

A total of six adults and four children were taken to the hospitals. Four each went to St. Vincent and Toledo, while two were taken to MCO.

Numerous rescue personnel, who initially had some difficulty reaching the accident scene, included four life squads, five ambulances, two heavy rescue squads, a rescue squad, and at least five other pieces of fire equipment.

About 40 minutes after the accident, firefighters requested an air ambulance and established a landing zone on the interstate, which was closed to traffic.

The accident occurred about 10:45 p.m. at the north end of the DiSalle Bridge when a tractor-trailer slammed into the rear of a car in traffic that had been slowed because of construction ahead.

I-75 northbound is being repaved between the site of the crash and the I-475 split. It narrows to a single lane just north of the Anthony Wayne Trail.

The car and its occupant, a woman, were pinned against the center barrier wall.

“The semi truck came tearing through the stopped traffic, dragging the car along the wall,” said James French, of New Boston, Mich., whose minivan was destroyed in the accident.

Other vehicles began crashing into one another, some spinning around and coming to rest facing the wrong way on the highway.

Debris and oil covered the roadway.

An hour after the accident, all patients had been removed from the scene and transported to one of the three hospitals.



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