WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (FOX19) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is searching for the driver of an SUV involved in a hit-skip crash that killed a 76-year-old Lebanon man on northbound Interstate 71 in Warren County.
The incident was reported on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, briefly closing all northbound lanes on the bridge, patrol officials say.
A preliminary investigation determined the crash occurred when two northbound vehicles “made contact,” the highway patrol said in a news release.
The vehicles are described as a 2010 Ford Ranger pickup truck in the right lane and an unknown SUV that is light in color in the left lane.
The Ford Ranger, driven by James Clark, 76, lost control, traveled off the right side of the road, struck a concrete barrier and then crossed the road, according to the highway patrol.
The pickup went off the left side of the road, where it struck a concrete barrier again, and then traveled across the road a third time, where it went off the right side of the road, striking a concrete barrier.
Meanwhile, the unknown SUV continued traveling north on the highway and “failed to stop,” the news release states.
Clark was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the highway patrol.
His family remembers him as a loving husband and father and a hard-working man.
“He’s the hardest working person I ever med in my life,” Clark’s son, Randy Clark, told FOX19 NOW Monday.
Clark was on his way to work when the crash occurred, his family says.
“We bought a new dump truck three years ago, and he loved driving the dump truck,” Randy recalled. “That’s actually what he was on his way to do this morning. He was going to our shop to get the truck, because we needed some stone for one of the projects we’re working on right now. He was about halfway there when the accident happened.”
The crash remains under investigation.
Anyone with any information about this crash is asked to contact the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon post at 513-932-4444.
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