WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) – Several people were injured and one person was flown to the hospital in separate but nearby crashes that had I-71 completely shut down in Warren County Tuesday evening.
The crashes happened alternately on the northbound and the southbound portions of the interstate between SR-741 and SR-123.
Both occurred near mile marker 30 around 4 p.m., according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The second crash happened southbound in the backup of the first crash, which involved a southbound semi traveling across a narrow, tree-lined median and plowing into northbound lanes of the interstate.
The trees dislodged by the semi sprayed into northbound traffic and hit a car driven by a 27-year-old woman from Cincinnati, according to OSP Sergeant Robert Burn with the Lebanon Post.
“I mean, can you imagine how terrifying it was for her driving down the road and seeing nothing but trees on both sides? And then, all of a sudden, trees just exploding, coming out at you, and then a semi coming out in front of you,” Burn said. “That had to have been terrifying for her.”
The woman was injured when the tree came through the glass of her car. Burn says she was “cut up quite badly” by the trees, then went into the median herself and rolled over.
“It was just one of those things she couldn’t control,” Burn said. “And she did. She did a wonderful job trying to avoid it.”
A third vehicle in the initial crash sustained damage from sprayed debris.
At that point, northbound and southbound lanes were at a standstill. The second crash happened on southbound I-71 in the backup less than a half-mile away.
A total of five vehicles were involved across the two crashes, three in the initial northbound crash and two in the ensuing southbound crash.
The Cincinnati woman was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center by UC AirCare, according to Burn.
Several other crash victims were hospitalized. All are expected to be ok, including the person transported by AirCare, Burn says. The Cincinnati woman is in stable condition.
No other word on the extent of the injuries.
OSP has yet to determine what made the semi driver, a man from Texas, veer across the median.
The southbound crash was cleared around 6:30 p.m. The northbound crash was cleared around an hour later.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.
Copyright 2022 WXIX. All rights reserved.
AirCare transports Cincinnati woman from I-71 crash, OSP says