SYCAMORE TWP. - Southbound Interstate 71 was closed for several hours Tuesday morning due to a crash in Sycamore township around 5:15 a.m., according to the the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
The highway was reportedly closed for more than six hours.
A sheriff’s office investigation says a 37-year-old Hope, In. man was driving his semi-tractor and trailer southbound on the highway just south of Kenwood Road when he drove it off the right side of the road. The semi traveled along a raised embankment, the sheriff’s office says, then struck a light pole and concrete support for the pole.
The semi reportedly overturned onto its left side and struck a guardrail, then caught fire.
The man, Donald Geis, was trapped inside the semi and had to be mechanically extricated by the Madeira and Indian Hill Fire Department, according to the sheriff’s office.
The fire was quickly extinguished, the report says, and Geis was not injured.
The road closure continued as crews “righted” the semi and cleaned up debris and fuel that was pulled into the roadway.
Though alcohol and drugs were not apparently factors in the crash, and Geis was not apparently speeding, the sheriff’s office says he has been charged with failure to maintain reasonable control of his vehicle.
Authorities initially reported the semi was hauling a full tank of some 150 gallons of fuel that may have leaked.
The semi also was carrying a small load of hospital beds and mattresses, according to Daugherty.
Traffic was first diverted off the highway onto Montgomery Road to Red Bank Road, but that took several minutes.
Motorists then were advised to detour onto westbound Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway to southbound I-75.
That route became a frustration, too, due to a crash on the ramp to Cross County.