Semi crash kills 1, closes I-71 in Greene County

A Kentucky man was killed in an accident on I-70 Wednesday morning. (WDTN Photo/Jake Ryle)
A Kentucky man was killed in an accident on I-70 Wednesday morning. (WDTN Photo/Jake Ryle)

GREENE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A Kentucky man was killed in an accident on I-71 Wednesday morning.

It happened around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Officials tells 2 NEWS a semi truck was pulling over to the side of the road when it was struck from behind by a second semi.

Lieutenant Stan Jordan with the Ohio State Highway Patrol says Milan Ilic, 60, the driver of the first semi truck was having issues with a tire.

“He thought he had a flat tire. Turned on his flashers, and went to get off the right side of the road. The second semi truck behind him apparently didn’t notice,” he said.

The driver of the second semi, Robert Major, 36, died at the scene.

This puppy survived the semi crash that killed his owner. (WDTN Photo/Jake Ryle)
This puppy survived the semi crash that killed his owner. (WDTN Photo/Jake Ryle)

That second semi was carrying a load of coiled steel.  At least one coil of steel broke free and slid into the cab killing Major. The driver who was killed also had a dog with him. The dog survived the accident.

“It appears to me that it would’ve been pretty secure,” Lt. Jordan added, “but when you have that much force, it’s going to make that coil of steel move.”

Tim Moberly, a truck driver for 20 years was one of the first drivers to stop and see if the two involved in the crash needed help. He says he’s still in shock from the crash.

“Not this quick, and not that close. This is probably the worst I’ve seen,” he said.

He tells 2 NEWS that in the wake of a tragedy — semi truck drivers band together.

“When it comes to serious things like this, yeah, everybody sticks together.”

At present is it unknown if alcohol/drugs are a factor in the crash. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts. The investigation is ongoing.

The northbound lanes of I-71 were shut down just north of State Route 72. Crews spent several hours cleaning up debris from the accident.

The Wilmington Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatch tells 2 NEWS that I-71 northbound near the accident reopened at about 11:45 a.m.

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