Interstate 70 east was reopened at state Route 315 Monday evening after a semi crash that resulted in a fire.
According to police, a crash occurred along I-70 east near I-71 north shortly before 11 a.m.
All the ramps also were reopened.
HAZMAT responded to the crash, and engineers inspected a bridge to make sure its structural integrity had not been compromised in the crash, which also involved a mini-van.
The driver of the rig, which was hauling car batteries, escaped the burning cab, thanks to a number of Good Samaritans who stopped at the scene.
Off-duty Jackson Township firefighter Dave Fannin was driving his motorcycle when he saw the crash.
“I heard metal crunching, and I looked up,” Fannin said. ‘There’s a mini-van going into the wall, the semi was swerving and jackknifed and as soon as it jackknifed, it went over onto its side into the concrete divider. The second it hit the concrete divider, it burst into flames.”
Fannin said that he jumped off his motorcycle to help.
Two other men, another off-duty firefighter from Hamilton Township and a man who had a sledgehammer in his vehicle, ran with him to the burning cab.
“So, I ended up grabbing the sledge hammer, took the passenger window out, and then we ended up getting him out and ran over to the side, and probably within a minute, two minutes tops, the thing was fully engulfed. There were a couple of small explosions,” Fannin said. “I’m just thankful we got him out.”
Fannin said that he did not think twice about risking his own life.
“Had it not been for us being there, a minute or two later, I don’t think he would have made it out,” Fannin said.
Two people were transported to Mount Carmel West Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The names and conditions of those involved in the crash were not immediately known.
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