ODOT Worker Killed In Semi Crash Along I-71 N In Delaware Co.

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An Ohio Department of Transportation worker was killed in a crash along Interstate 71 in Delaware County Monday morning.

The crash involving a semi shut down Interstate 71 northbound at Polaris Parkway.

The crash occurred around 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning near mile marker 125, just north of Polaris near U.S. 36/37.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the ODOT worker was operating a backhoe on the right berm of I-71 near mile post 124 when a commercial vehicle went off the right side of the road, striking the backhoe.

The commercial vehicle flipped and caught on fire.

The worker, identified as Lee Rizor, 27, of Mount Gilead, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rizor was a five year employee at ODOT.

He was operating a back hoe and clearing debris behind a guardrail at the time he was struck by the tractor trailer.

“Our hearts are heavy at ODOT today as we lost an employee in a very tragic accident. Lee M. Rizor was a dedicated highway worker with more than five years of service to the department. He left home this morning with the expectation that he would return to his family at the end of the work day unharmed. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rizor family during this very difficult time,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.

The driver of the semi, Dwayne Allen Hill Sr., 59, of Ashland, Va., was taken to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in critical condition.

Authorities were not sure how long the highway would remain closed.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, drivers were urged to use U.S. 36 east to S.R. 3 as an alternate route.

I-71 north at I-270 also was closed. Drivers should use S.R. 315 and U.S. 23 for alternate routes.

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