PREBLE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Highway State Patrol says they believe the driver of a semi-truck is at fault for a Wednesday evening triple fatal crash on I-70 westbound near the Indiana/Ohio border.
At this point, OSP says they don’t anticipate any citations for the company.
“We don’t see through our investigation up to this point that there were any mechanical issues, any overload issues, anything like that would have caused him not to stop,” said Sergeant Jeff Kramer.
Gray Transportation was the employer for the driver of the semi. A federal records search by 2 NEWS found the company had a history of safety violations.
Records with the U.S. Department of Transportation found Gray Transportation, who has a fleet of 123 trucks, had been involved in 11 crashes in the last 24 months. The deadly crash in Preble County was the only fatal listed for that time frame.
Federal records also show in the last two years, the company had 72 unsafe driving violations. Thirty-nine of those violations were for speeding. Other violations included having an unauthorized passenger and using a cell phone while driving.
There are two violations for following too close and another two for inattentive driving for the last 24 months. Those issues are the suspected causes for this fatal crash.
Click here to see that full report.
“Some inattention to what was going on in front of him and just following too close with assured clear distance and not allowing himself enough time to slow for the traffic ahead of him,” Sergeant Kramer said.
In a statement to 2 NEWS, the company’s attorney only responded by saying, “The matter is being investigated by law enforcement.”
That investigation will be crucial if the family of the victims choose to take action.
“Certainly there’s legal obligation civilly. We need to make sure we do our investigation properly,” Sgt. Kramer said.
He said while the investigation is ongoing, OSP is looking for any other evidence including dash cams from other trucks and vehicles who may have captured the crash.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 71-year-old Richard Shiverdecker and his wife, 65-year-old Karen Shiverdecker, both of Lewisburg, were killed after their Chevy Trail Blazer was involved in the crash. The semi truck driver that died in the crash has been identified as 68-year-old Robert Fryklund of Abbotsford, Wisc.
As a result of the crash, Shiverdecker’s Chevy Trail Blazer went off the road and overturned, ejecting both Shiverdecker and his wife.