NB I-71 reopens after wrong-way fatal crash

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 4:07 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:02 AM EDT
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CLINTON COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Alcohol and/or drugs are suspected factors in a wrong-way fatal crash that closed northbound I-71 in the northern suburbs early Monday, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Troopers responded to the crash and fuel spill on the highway past Wilmington Road at 12:45 a.m. Monday.

All northbound lanes were shut down until a little after 5 a.m.

The crash caused a 10-mile backup and lengthy delays before the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County.

State troopers say a 2020 Ford Escape going southbound in the northbound lanes hit a 2020 International semi tractor-trailer head-on, according to the news release.

The driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene. That person’s name is being withheld until next-of-kin is notified.

The semi-driver, Anthony Sisk, 51, of Hanceville, Alabama, was taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital in Wilmington.

An OSHP dispatcher says the SUV was reported to be driving southbound in the northbound lanes for at least 10 miles before hitting the semi.

Unlike Hamilton County, Clinton County does not have a wrong-way driver detection system.

Since launching in Hamilton County in 2019, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) says it has worked well.

The question now is, would this have helped in Clinton County, and will it be implemented in the future.

ODOT Press Secretary Matt Bruning says while not many crashes have happened in the Clinton County section of I-71, it will be something they monitor going forward.

“We haven’t had too many crashes up that way, but certainly that would be something that we are analyzing as we move forward,” explained Bruning.

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