Crash, spill closes westbound turnpike lanes near Wauseon for 7 hours


WAUSEON -- The westbound Ohio Turnpike was closed for seven hours Tuesday cleanup of a liquid fertilizer leak caused by a two-vehicle crash Tuesday evening. The lanes reopened about 1 a.m.

Traffic was diverted off the turnpike at the Delta exit. The crash occurred near the Wauseon exit.

About 5:25 p.m., a pickup pulling a flatbed trailer was trying to return to the roadway from the shoulder, but couldn't accelerate, said Trooper Greg Harkey of the Swanton post of the Ohio Highway Patrol. The driver of a tractor-trailer saw the slow-moving pickup-flatbed at the last minute and, while passing and stopping, struck the left guardrail and rolled on the driver's side. The rig slid across the road and struck the right guardrail.

The driver, Gregory Cannon, 62 of Defiance, was freed from his cab and was taken to the Fulton County Health Center for treatment of a leg injury.

The trailer was packed with three-gallon containers of liquid fertilizer, which began leaking. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency coordinated cleanup.

The driver of the pickup-flatbed, Vladimir Losich, 32, of Lake Zurich, Ill., was cited for slow speed and impeding traffic, Trooper Harkey said.