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Published: Saturday, 8/13/2005

Woman killed in collision near I-75

A woman was killed, and several people were hurt yesterday in a chain-reaction accident involving six vehicles in the westbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike in Rossford that backed up traffic for at least 10 miles, authorities said.

The westbound lanes of the turnpike were completely shut down for at least 45 minutes following the crash, and it remained limited to one lane for several hours.

Michele Williams, 56, of Homer City, Pa., was killed, and her husband, Arthur, was hurt when their car was rear-ended about 2:10 p.m. by a tractor-trailer rig near the I-75 interchange.

Mr. Williams, the driver, was flown to Medical University of Ohio Medical Center. His condition was not available last night.

The Williamses' car was westbound in the right-hand lane about a quarter mile east of the I-75 interchange in traffic that was stop-and-go, backed up with vehicles attempting to exit the turnpike, troopers at the Swanton post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

The semi, driven by Peggy Sue Derryberry of Dover, Ark., was westbound in the passing lane and changed lanes into stopped traffic, striking the rear of a car driven by Brian Costello of Strongsville, Ohio, and then striking the rear of the Williamses' car. The Williamses' car was pushed into the rear of a car driven by Regina Piunno of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Ms. Piunno's car hit a minivan driven by Nancy Cahill of Bellaire, Md., and pushed it into the passing lane, where it struck a van driven by Ronald Schneider of Edwardsville, Ill.

Mr. Costello and three passengers in his car were taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. No information on their conditions was available.

Ms. Cahill, her two passengers, and Ms. Derryberry were treated in St. Luke's Hospital.

Traffic at the I-75 interchange has been extremely heavy since July 11 when northbound I-280 was closed in East Toledo.

Traffic trying to enter the turnpike from I-75 also backed up. The back-ups were bad enough that traffic trying to go both directions on the turnpike was delayed, troopers said.

The accident remains under investigation, troopers said.

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