More than 12 miles of the interchange between I-270 and U.S. Route 161 was shut down after a fuel tanker overturned, killing the man who was driving it, the Columbus Disptach reported on October 11, 2011. While the roads did reopen after being shut down for 18 hours, seven of eight ramps between the two highways remained inaccessible into the evening. Columbus fire officials told the dispatch that about 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline spilled from the tanker’s 8,500-gallon load.
Police told the Dispatch that it appeared 63-year-old Jack J. Birman was going too fast when he tried to get off at the Route 161 exit. Birman was pronounced dead at the crash on I-270, just south of the interchange.
Robert Lawler, director of transportation for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, told the Disptach that the daily volume of vehicles that pass through I-270 and Route 161 is close to 190,000, including 14,000 trucks. The Ohio Department of Transportation ranks the interchange among the five busiest areas of the Outerbelt, but the Dispatch noted state crash data from 2008 to 2010 ranks the interchange relatively low as a safety hazard with 44 crashes there over the three-year span. The I-210 and Route 161 section was 33rd of 83 interchanges on Franklin County’s state and federal highways.
This should serve as a reminder that even traditionally safe roads are not immune fromtruck accidents. While nobody else was hurt in this particular case, the police reports of the driver’s speed being to blame could possibly make that trucking company liable if another driver had been injured. Were you or a loved one hurt as a result of an accident with a tractor-trailer? Contact our Cincinnati truck accident attorney today to set up a free consultation and let our firm see how we can help you.