Truck driver in critical condition after I-80 crash

Staff report


A 28-year-old Westerville man was seriously injured after his tractor-trailer overturned on Interstate 80, near the weigh station in the township early Monday.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Mathew Luermann had been traveling eastbound on I-80 about 5:40 a.m. when he drove off the right side of the road into the grass. Luermann then sharply steered the tractor-trailer back onto the road, causing it to overturn.

At that time, the trailer and its load of coils separated from the tractor and went off the right side of I-80. The tractor continued to overturn, ejecting Luermann onto the road.

The driver of a tractor-trailer traveling in the left lane — identified as Kofi Denteh, 33, of West Fargo, N.D. — swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting the overturned tractor-trailer but ended up striking an embankment. Denteh was not injured.

Luermann was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, and was in critical condition late Monday.

I-80 eastbound was closed for about one hour while the Hubbard Fire Department and the Ohio Department of Transportation, along with towing companies, removed debris from the road, according to patrol reports. One lane of I-80 remained closed for several hours while crews continued to clean up; it has since reopened.

The crash remains under investigation by the patrol’s Warren post.

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