SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – A separate semi truck fire led to another wreck that involved four vehicles on Interstate 70 in Springfield.
One driver died on scene, two were taken to the hospital, and Ohio State Highway Patrol said it seems to be a case of a driver not paying attention.
It took multiple crews hours Thursday morning to open any westbound lanes in a stretch of I-70 after a semi-truck driver rear-ended another semi causing a chain reaction, and was killed when his truck caught fire.
Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed the victim as 37-year-old Matthew Cornett from Wilmington.
Two other drivers were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center.
Springfield Highway Patrol post commander Lt. Brian Aller said the morning began at 7:07 when they got a previous call of a commercial vehicle on fire in a construction zone, about five miles up and 45 minutes before the fatal accident.
“That semi burnt basically to the ground,” said Aller. “There’s not much left of it, it’s just a matter of clean up.”
Because of this semi fire, traffic was at a standstill when Cornett crashed into the other vehicle’s rear a little before 8 a.m.
Aller said in this situation, the construction posed some trouble, but reminded everyone the importance of not just paying attention when driving, but to also drive ahead of your hood, and give yourself plenty of space.
“Every ten miles an hour, you want at least a car length if not more,” said Aller. “So if you’re doing 70 on I-70, that’s the speed limit out here, you want at least seven car lengths if not a little more for a good cushion so that you’re able to stop. Semi trucks obviously can’t stop quite as quick so they want probably eight to nine.”
But said sadly, this wreck is evident that rule is not always followed.
“It’s one of the citations that we write quite a bit just because of crashes like this,” said Aller. “This stuff happens so we’re trying to prevent that the best we can.”