STONY RIDGE, Ohio — A pre-dawn collision of two tractor-trailers killed a trucker from Wisconsin and shut down the Ohio Turnpike’s eastbound lanes near I-280 for about five hours today.
Georgi Belchev, 54, of Franksville, Wis., died at the scene after his truck, loaded with cardboard boxes, crashed into the rear of another semi that had slowed and was pulling into the exit lane at the I-280 interchange, Exit 71, troopers at the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Swanton post on the turnpike said. Mr. Belchev was trapped in his truck and was extricated by Lake Township fire and medical crews after the 5:30 a.m. crash.
After the collision, Mr. Belchev’s rig jackknifed and overturned across the roadway, blocking all three eastbound lanes. An Ohio Turnpike Commission sport-utility vehicle hit the wreckage after its driver, Alan Durliat, 50, of Whitehouse, braked approaching the scene but lost control on spilled fluid from the overturned truck, patrol Sgt. Robert Sellers said.
Both Mr. Durliat and Petr Mazur, 51, of Broadway, Va., the driver of the truck that was struck from behind, were taken to local hospitals for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, troopers said. Mr. Mazur’s truck was hauling pelletized salt.
Eastbound traffic was detoured at the I-75 interchange for the crash investigation and cleanup of crash debris, including spilled lading from at least one of the trucks, Sergeant Sellers said. The crash remained under investigation later today.