Turnpike crash causes hazardous spill

Staff report

A two vehicle accident on the Ohio Turnpike in Swanton Township on Wednesday caused a hazardous waste spill into the nearby St. Joseph River.

The Swanton post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that an unknown type of semi truck driven by James Mayfield, 65, of Columbus, Ohio, was westbound on the turnpike at approximately 5:48 p.m. when it struck a 2022 Freightliner semi-truck driven by Trayon Sanders, 24, of New Orleans, La., from behind. Mayfield’s vehicle became fully engulfed in flames which then spread to the trailer. The fire caused a corrosive material to be released and leaked into the river.

The leak was contained by the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission and local fire departments. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency assessed the spill, and Environmental Remediation Services handled clean-up efforts.

The accident closed the eastbound lanes of the turnpike for about four hours. As of early Thursday morning the westbound lanes were still closed.

Troopers were also assisted by Williams County EMS, the Montpelier, Bryan, and Brady Township fire departments, and Hutch’s Towing.

There were no injuries, and the crash remains under investigation.

Staff report