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Published: Monday, 5/11/2009

Turnpike accident caused by driver suffering from diabetic condition

BLADE STAFF

EDON, Ohio — A tractor-trailer rig driver who caused a two-vehicle injury crash that indefinitely closed two exit lanes at the Ohio Turnpike’s westernmost toll plaza Sunday evening was suffering from a diabetic condition, authorities said.

Joseph Newhauser, 68, of Nekoosa, Wis., the semi driver, was taken to Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers in Bryan, Ohio, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. Julian Mendoza, 62, of Anderson, Ind., the driver of the other vehicle, and Cherry Roseles, 31, his passenger, were also transported the Bryan hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A hospital spokesman said early Monday she had no information about people by those names.

The crash occurred about 7:45 p.m. at the turnpike’s Westgate interchange in Williams County’s Northwest Township.

The Newhauser truck was reported driving erratically just before it entered the interchange, struck Mr. Mendoza’s vehicle, and then hit two toll booths. Both toll collectors escaped unhurt moments before the truck struck the booths, troopers said.

Everybody was wearing safety belts. Mr. Newhauser was cited for failing to stop within an assured clear distance, according to the patrol.

As of 8:10 a.m. the exit lanes remained closed. It was unclear how soon they may open, troopers said.



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