One person dead following Turnpike crash


The Swanton post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash which occurred Monday in Pike Township near milepost 37 on the Ohio Turnpike at about 12:35 a.m. Russell Florida, 47, of Warren, Ohio, was pronounced dead on the scene.

A white 2007 Freightliner Semi hauling U.S. mail experienced mechanical failure and became disabled in the right lane of travel with no lights. The driver, Charles Simons, 61, of East Northport, N.Y., and passenger, John Adams III, 50, of Grantite City, Ill., had exited the vehicle and were flagging traffic around the disabled vehicle.

According to the Highway Patrol, a white 2011 Freightliner Semi driven by Florida was westbound when it failed to stop for the disabled vehicle and struck the rear of the stopped semi. Florida’s vehicle then went off the right side of the roadway, striking the north ditch.

The 2007 Freightliner remained on the roadway blocking the driving lane.

The westbound lanes of the turnpike were closed for approximately three hours. All westbound traffic was diverted off the roadway at Exit 39, the Delta interchange.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by Delta Fire and EMS, the Swanton Fire Department, and the Ohio Turnpike Maintenance Department.

Florida was wearing his safety belt at the time of the crash, and alcohol use is not believed to be a factor. The crash remains under investigation.