A 74-year-old Mechanicsburg man is now listed in fair condition after striking the back of a hay baler Friday night on U.S. 68 North.
A 2013 Ford Expedition, driven by Teddy Rice, 74, of Mechanicsburg was traveling north in the right lane when it struck the left rear of a 1977 John Deere tractor, driven by Karl Deselem, 40, of Springfield, that was pulling a baling machine that had no tail lights, according to the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The Expedition overturned after striking the hay baler.
As the Expedition was overturning, it also struck the right front of a 2015 Honda Odyssey, driven by Aaron Snow, 37, of Springfield.
Rice was transported by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The other drivers refused treatment at the scene.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and German Township Fire and EMS assisted OSP at the scene.
UPDATE @ 12:23 a.m. (July 13):
A farmer driving a tractor pulling a hay baler is reportedly responsible for both vehicle crashes Friday night on U.S. 68 North in Clark County, said Sgt. Richard Dixon of the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The hay baler — which had no lights — should not have been on the highway, the sergeant said.
According to the preliminary investigation, the farmer had a friend — with headlights — following him in a minivan. The minivan was involved in a crash near state Route 41 in German Twp. and lost contact with the hay baler, which continued north on U.S. 68.
The driver of an SUV apparently did not see the hay baler in the dark and rear-ended it near state Route 334 when the SUV swerved after hitting another vehicle. The collision left the SUV on its top and severely damaged the hay baler.
The SUV driver, a man believed to be in his 70s, was said to be in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital, Dixon said.
The farmer and the friend who was following him in the minivan were not injured.
U.S. 68 is expected to be shut down in both directions for several hours as troopers reconstruct the crash for their report.
INITIAL REPORT (July 12)
Two separate vehicle accidents on U.S. 68 in Clark County kept law enforcement and medical personnel busy.
Both crashes involved overturned vehicles and were worked by Ohio State Highway Patrol and Clark County Sheriff's deputies.
One of accidents was reported around 9:50 p.m. on U.S. 68 North, near state Route 41 in German Twp.
No one was injured in this accident that involved two vehicles, state troopers said.