LEBANON, Ohio - An accident on I-71 has left one family split up at several areahospitals and two horses in surgery.
Northbound I-71 was shut down for almost three hours Saturdayafter a pickup truck hauling a long horse trailer went off theroad, hit a ditch and crashed into a tree. Five people, two horsesand a dog were injured in the crash.
It happened around 12:30 p.m. near the 29 mile-marker in theLebanon area, north of State Route 48.
Crews worked for hours as traffic on I-71 backed up for mileswhile they worked to save lives.
Police say the left, front tire on the truck blew out, sendingthe entire rig against the steep hillside of the highway'smedian.
The gooseneck trailer was upended, with the rear of the trailerresting on its end, and the rear doors blocked. Both horses weretrapped inside. A veterinarian was called to the scene.
The Ohio State Patrol says the driver of the truck, Paul Schwab,55, of Hamilton, and his passengers were taken to area hospitals,including Children's Hospital.
9 News was told one of the female passengers and a teenager wereflown to hospitals, while the others -- including another femalepassenger and infant -- were taken by ambulance.
Police say the 14-year-old was flown to Children's Hospitalwhere he is listed in critical condition and the woman was flown toUniversity Hospital where she is listed in serious condition.
The other female passenger and the infant were taken to ArrowSprings Hospital for minor injuries.
Schwab was taken to Bethesda North Hospital. His condition hasnot been released.
The tow truck originally called in to extricate the truck andtrailer did not prove adequate. A larger wrecker was then called tothe scene. 9 News was told one of the horses was "freaking out" inthe wrecked trailer while awaiting rescue.
The horses were administered tranquilizers and when the trailerwas finally "jacked up," crews were able to extract the horses fromthe trailer. 9 News was told the horses appeared to havelacerations.
Veterinarians from the Lebanon Equine Clinic were there to helpwith the horses' rescue and to make sure they didn't go intoshock.
"One of our vets that is on-call got here first and was able tosedate the horses initially, kind of assess them," said Dr. DerekMcFadden, of the Lebanon Equine Clinic. "Both were somewhat pincheddown the hill there, against the back gate."
"We had enough ropes and sedation on board that we were able toget them out the back of the trailer," McFadden said, "and thengive them some medicine to stabilize them."
Jessica Snyder happened to be driving by the crash scene with anempty horse trailer, which she was able to use to help transportthe injured horses from the scene .
"I would just only hope that if it was me on that hill, that thenext empty trailer that came by would take my horses, too," Snydersaid.
Once at the clinic, veterinarians told 9 News that while thehorses are bumped and bruised, after a few surgeries they shouldrecover.
No word yet on the names of the other accident victims or thecondition of the dog.
The accident remains under investigation.
Stay with WCPO.com, KYPost.com and WCPO-TV forupdates. Please click "refresh" on your browser to view the mostrecent version of this story.
Copyright Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W. Scripps Company