Trooper on I-70 Fatal Crash: ‘You have no chance against a car like that’

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is asking anyone who has information about the fatal pedestrian strike on I-70 near South Vienna — to come forward.

The accident killed a 51-year-old Columbus man, identified as Bradley Liebling. OSP Springfield Post Commander Lt. Brian Aller, said they do not have a description of the suspect or a description of the suspect’s vehicle, other than that it would have significant front end damage.

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The pedestrian strike is the second in Clark County in a week. A man remains in the hospital after being struck by a train in Springfield on Wednesday. According to a Norfolk Southern spokesperson, the crew sounded the train’s horn, but the man didn’t move from the tracks.

Only one 9-1-1 call came into dispatch a little after 5 a.m. on Friday regarding the accident on I-70. The caller said they saw a body in the median of the highway near Mile Post 66. They describe him as wearing a burgundy shirt and dark shorts.

According to a release from OSP, evidence suggests Liebling was struck while walking or standing on eastbound I-70. The driver then fled the scene.

“Speeds out here are 70, sometimes…80, 90 miles an hour,” Aller said. “You have no chance against a car like that.”

Aller also mentioned that early morning dark conditions could have played a factor in the accident. Lanes of traffic were blocked for close to four hours.

He said officials checked with local gas stations to see if there was a pedestrian around or a vehicle out of place as part of their investigation.

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Investigators eventually found the victim’s car in a pull out that was hidden from view across from the Fuel Mart in South Vienna, near on the exit 66 off ramp. The pull out is located near a cornfield that’s a few hundred feet from the highway. It’s still not clear why Liebling would have been on I-70, officials said.

The vehicle was towed back to OSP’s post.

If you have information, you’re asked to call the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol at 937-323-9781 and speak with a supervisor. Aller said the accident is still under investigation.

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