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Updated: 9:14 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 | Posted: 10:12 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

Fatal I-75 crash cleanup ongoing; road repairs could be costly

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Crash area photo
Crash area
Fatal I-75 crash cleanup ongoing; road repairs could be costly photo
Crews continued to clean up after a fatal crash on I-75 south near Tipp City the morning of Aug. 29, 2013. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Fatal I-75 crash cleanup ongoing; road repairs could be costly photo
Crews continued to clean up after a fatal crash on I-75 south near Tipp City the morning of Aug. 29, 2013. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Fatal I-75 crash cleanup ongoing; road repairs could be costly photo
Traffic was still backed up on I-75 southbound in Tipp City around 11:32 a.m. Aug. 29, 2013. The road was closed after a fatal crash the night before. DARRIN POPE/STAFF

By Breaking News Staff

TIPP CITY —

A fiery crash on Interstate 75 claimed the lives of two people, restricted traffic for 21 hours and pavement repairs could cost $40,000.

Two are dead and one is injured after a semi-tractor trailer caused the seven-vehicle crash in a construction zone on the southbound side near Ohio 571 just before 10 p.m. Wednesday. Three semis and four passenger vehicles were involved.

The at-fault driver, Dial Singh Jhutti, of Ontario, and commercial truck driver Michael R. Moore, of Pierceton, Indiana, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Motorist Loretta Stotler, of Sidney, was treated and released at Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy. according to OHP.

Other motorists treated and released at the scene were Reynold Flemming, of Brentwood, NY; William F. Shaw, of Xenia; Chris E. Black, of Howell, Mich. and Thomas H. Burrows, of Cincinnati, according to OHP.

Around 8 a.m. the entrance ramp from Ohio 571 to I-75 south was reopened allowing some traffic to flow through.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has reopened one lane. It will be switching which lanes are open through the evening while repairs occur.

All lanes reopened after the cleanup and repairs by 6:45 p.m. today.

The two who died in the crash were driving semis.

“We do have two confirmed fatalities,” OSP Lt. Rick Albers said. “There was some construction going on 75 here, southbound, and the traffic was slow,” said Albers. “One of the commercials was unable to get stopped, impacted a passenger car, and then impacted another commercial vehicle.”

The second semi involved in the crash was pushed into a third semi, which then struck three additional passenger vehicles stopped in front of it, Albers said.

A police cruiser was also damaged in the fire.

“During construction, or if you come up on any type of construction, we just ask that drivers pay attention and slow down,” the lieutenant said, also alluding to the increased speed limits on sections of rural interstates in the state. “Remain cognizant that traffic could be stopped in front of you at any point in time,” he said.

The impact of the collision caused two semis to erupt in flames, Albers said. The flames, which stretched several hundred feet north from the end of the crash scene, were extinguished by fire departments from two counties.

Firefighters from Tipp City and West Milton in Miami County responded and were assisted by Montgomery County units from Vandalia and Butler Twp. fire departments.

Northbound lanes of I-75 also were closed following the crash and were reopened shortly after 2 a.m., the highway patrol said.

Albers said troopers are still in the early portion of the investigation. The Ohio Department of Transportation said the estimated pavement repair costs are about $40,000, but that could change depending on how much time it will take.

Detour

Motorists needing to travel the area were urged to exit the interstate at the Ohio 571 exit. Drivers could then take Ohio 571 west to County Road 25-A, where they could then travel south to Northwoods.

A left turn from County Road 25-A to Northwoods would take motorists back to I-75, where they could reenter the southbound lanes of the highway.

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