Troopers urge caution after 2 crashes in construction zone

Troopers are warning drivers to slow down in construction zones after two serious crashes on Interstate 70 recently.

Two motorcyclists were hurt on June 7 and a semi overturned a week later in the same construction area — between Ohio 4 and U.S. 68, near mile marker 51.

The motorcyclists were in a group of 12, and were part of a chain-reaction crash. They were treated for their injuries and released.

The semi driver was cited for his crash. The highway was shut down for hours this past Saturday after the truck carrying food dyes flipped on its side.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the driver went off the road, over-corrected and lost control. A Cleveland construction worker helped to pull the driver out of this cab after the crash when he spotted a huge cloud of dust up ahead.

Troopers said the crash could have been a lot worse.

“If there had been a car to its immediate left or somebody following a little too close, they could’ve ran into it. But in this case, there was nobody in the direct area around him,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Gooding.

Ohio Department of Transportation Engineer Scott LeBlanc said construction zones are designed by state guidelines, but his office does investigate when a crash occurs.

“We absolutely take every incident that occurs and re-evaluate and see if our main traffic scheme is what’s best for that project,” he said.

Nightly lane closures continue this week, as part of the project to widen the highway.

“We ask people to maintain their assured clear distance or add a little bit, that’s why we have reduced speeds,” Gooding said. “They can watch their speeds and slow down, and just be cognizant of what’s going on around you.”

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