Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Family safe as tires fly off semi into home in Woodville Township

WOODVILLE For Ruth Riffle, a fascination with a math problem kept her from what could have been a deadly clash with physics.

Crunching that evening s bowling scores while seated at her kitchen table, Ms. Riffle knows she s lucky to have missed being hit by two tractor-trailer tires that flew off a semi into her bedroom.

The scariest part is she had been in the bedroom changing into her pajamas just moments before the crash Wednesday.

If I would have been sleeping, I wouldn t have woken up. That tire would have killed me, the 77-year-old said yesterday.

It came right in through my bedroom wall and hit the bed and made holes in my bathroom. It just made a mess of my house.

The incident occurred just before 10 p.m. at 1330 West Main St. in Woodville Township. Authorities said a set of dual tractor-trailer wheels crashed through one wall of her bedroom and punched holes in the opposite wall before coming to a stop.

The wheels flew into her home after breaking off a trailer pulled by a semi that was eastbound on U.S. 20. Ms. Riffle s home located on a stretch that s busy with truck traffic is about a half-mile west of Woodville, where U.S. 20 is Main Street.

Though she was at home with her son, Greg Riffle, 48, and granddaughter, Demi Riffle, 15, no one was hurt.

Mr. Riffle also was lucky that he wasn t hit by flying tires.

He was just getting out of the bathtub when he saw the bathroom wall crack open as the wheels finally came to a halt on the other side of the wall.

At first, I thought something happened to my son, but it wouldn t have sounded like that even if he fell and cracked his head hard, Ms. Riffle said.

None of us could figure out what the sound was, so I went and looked in my bedroom and there s a great big ol wheel facing me.

Troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol s Fremont post said they cited the truck driver, Mark Seedorf, 46, of Liberty Center, Ohio, for having an unsafe vehicle. He was wearing a seat belt and was not hurt after the wheels broke off the semi.

Instead of going to bed at home after the accident, Ms. Riffle said she took her granddaughter to her daughter s house in Perrysburg for the night, but had a hard time falling asleep knowing that her home was unsecured.

To ease her concerns, Mr. Riffle stayed behind to guard her home because she was afraid the giant hole in the wall would make her residence an easy target for burglars.

But she ll be able to sleep a little easier now that the wall was boarded up temporarily yesterday until it can be properly repaired.

I ve lived here more than 40 years, and nothing has ever happened like this, Ms. Riffle said. I hope I never, ever have something like this happen again.

Contact Erika Ray at: or 419-724-6088.

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