Large truck explodes, catches fire EB I-275

ANDERSON TWP., Ohio - One eastbound lane of  I-275 at Five Mile Road in AndersonTownship remains closed after a fiery crash involving a semi truckand a minivan shut down both directions of the interstate Wednesdayevening.

The accident happened around 5:45 p.m., and fire crews stayed onthe scene overnight trying to clear the highway.

Crews have not released when the last lane will be reopened.Workers on the scene tell 9 News they are waiting for state highwayand bridge inspectors to arrive Thursday to double check theintegrity of the highway and expressway overpass where the crashoccurred.

Witnesses say the semi-truck was heading east on I-275. They saythe driver lost control, swerved to the left and hit a guardrail.Witnesses say the truck caught fire and when it came to a stop, itexploded.

Police say the truck was carrying about 250 pounds of dieselfuel.

The explosion forced a mini van that was in front of the truckto fall off the overpass and drop about 50 feet.

Both people inside the van were transported to UniversityHospita. They are identified as 47-year-old Chester Johnson ofWilliamsburg and 74-year-old Robert Althaus of Batavia. Johnson islisted in fair condition while Althaus is listed in criticalcondition.

Police say the driver of the semi truck, 41-year-old LeslieGough of Sidney, Ohio, escaped the crash with minor injuries andwas taken to Mercy Anderson Hospital.

Firefighters began using foam to extinguish the fire and preventit from spreading.  They are encouraging drivers to avoid theinterstate and seek alternate routes.

We have received numerous pictures from the accident scene. Doyou have one? Send it to us at webteam@wcpo.com.

Stay with WCPO.com and KyPost.com for the latest on this breaking story.


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