Findlay-area woman hurt as truck hits garage


FINDLAY -- A 61-year-old Findlay-area woman suffered serious injuries when a truck went off the right side of I-75 and struck her garage and fence, producing rubble that hit her as she was mowing her lawn Thursday evening, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Nikki L. Puchta is in serious condition this morning in Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

About 8:45 p.m., a tractor-trailer driven by Phillip A. Ewing, 66, of Bridgeport, Ohio, went off the right side of the road and struck the right-of-way fence, a utility pole, and the garage at 3212 Crosshill Dr., north of Findlay. The impact with the garage knocked the structure off its foundation, destroying its west and north walls. A large privacy fence was hit as well.

Debris from the garage and fence struck Mrs. Puchta, trapping her under the rubble until she was freed by motorists who stopped to help.

The truck came to rest on its right side in the ditch, after striking a second utility pole.

Mr. Ewing was cited for failure to maintain control. He was wearing a seat belt and was treated at the scene for injuries.

The truck lost about 50 gallons of diesel fuel because of the crash and the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency supervised cleanup.

The right lane of northbound I-75 north of Findlay near Allen Township Road 199 remained closed for hours.