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Middletown semi driver in 3-vehicle I-75 crash involving Jeep, OSHP cruiser

No injuries in crash outside Lima, Ohio
Posted at 11:29 PM, Feb 26, 2021

A Middletown man was in in a three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon on Interstate 75 that also involved a Jeep and an Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser.

The crash happened at approximately 4:55 p.m. while Trooper Ryan Lamarr, 39, was conducting a traffic stop on northbound I-75 at milepost 116 in Auglaize County and he was outside of his 2020 Dodge Charger cruiser — which had its overhead emergency lights activated — talking with the driver he had stopped, according to a release from the highway patrol.

Gerald D. Pestana, 53, of Middletown, was headed north in a 2000 Peterbilt commercial tractor-trailer in the left lane behind a 2014 Jeep SUV driven Rachel M. Ott, 24, of Beavercreek.

Pestana and Ott attempted to merge into the right lane and the truck struck the SUV. The impact forced their vehicles onto the shoulder and both struck the unoccupied cruiser. There were no injuries but all three vehicles had to be towed after the crash, the OSHP said.

Pestana was cited for assured clear distance ahead, according to the patrol.

The right lane of I-75 North was closed for about two hours as crews worked to clear the scene of the crash, which remains under investigation. There is no indication that alcohol or drugs was a factor, and the drivers were wearing their seat belts.

The patrol said it is urging motorists to pay attention, slow down and move over when they see emergency lights.

The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO 9.