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Published: Thursday, 8/12/2010

Water on I-280 causes 2 crashes; 1 driver hurt

BLADE STAFF

One person was injured as two vehicles, in succession, went out of control Wednesday during heavy rain on southbound I-280 near Pickle Road in Oregon.

The crashes closed southbound I-280 for more than an hour.

About 2:55 p.m., John Michalak, 52, of Walbridge was in the left lane on a curve when, because of water on the road, his pickup truck drove off the right side of the road, struck a guard rail, and landed in a grassy ditch, Oregon police Officer Ryan Spangler said.

Moments later, a car driven by Nicole Cousino, 17, of Northwood, also in the left lane, drove onto the rain-covered left lane and off the right side of the road into the grassy ditch, Officer Spangler said. Rescue crews extricated her from the car.

Mr. Michalak did not seek treatment at the scene. A medical helicopter was called for Ms. Cousino but could not fly because of the weather, Officer Spangler said. She was taken by life squad to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. A hospital spokesman had no information last night about a patient by that name.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts. No citations were issued.



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