LEBANON, Ohio (FOX19) - A 41-year-old Massachusetts man and his 5-year-old son are dead in a head-on crash with a semi tractor-trailer that shut down southbound Interstate 71 in Warren County for several hours Tuesday night, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Jordan Rivard from Greenfield, MA, and his son, whose name was not released, were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the crash was reported at 7:56 p.m., patrol officials said.
911 calls from drivers began pouring in just before 8 p.m.
“I’m heading south and someone is driving the wrong way. I missed them by about an inch,” one caller said.
Another child in Rivard’s 2016 Ford Explorer, a 3-year-old boy, was hurt so badly, a deputy with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office took the youngster in his cruiser directly to Bethesda Arrow Springs in Lebanon, a patrol dispatcher said.
The 3-year-old was then flown in a medical helicopter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the dispatcher said.
The child’s condition was not available early Wednesday, but he is believed to have serious injuries.
A preliminary investigation determined Rivard’s SUV, which has Massachusetts license plates, was traveling the wrong way down northbound I-71 in the southbound lanes when it struck a 2017 Freightliner head-on, the dispatcher said.
The driver of the semi, Mohamed Omar, 31, of Seattle, was taken to Bethesda Arrow Springs with non-life threatening injuries, they said.
The highway was shut down for several hours while authorities investigated. It reopened shortly before midnight.
Investigators are reviewing ODOT traffic cameras as they try to determine at which point the SUV began traveling the wrong way on the expressway, patrol dispatchers said.
They think it might have been near the Ohio 48 entrance to the highway.
It was not immediately clear if seat belts were in use.
It’s also not clear if speed, alcohol and/or drugs are factors in the crash.