DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton police detectives are investigating the fiery I-75 crash that killed one person on Sunday.
Detectives with the Dayton Crash Reconstruction Unit are examining evidence and conducting witness interviews. If you know anything about the crash, contact Detective Derric McDonald at 937-333-1141. The full investigation will take weeks to complete.
One person, who has not been identified, died when a car driving the wrong way on southbound I-75 crashed into a gasoline tanker, triggering a massive explosion that caused lanes in both directions to be shutdown for several hours.
As of Monday afternoon, traffic continues to be impacted by the crash, as ODOT crews work to make repairs to the road.
ODOT says the ramp from Main Street to I-75 South will be closed through Monday. The ramp from State Route 4 South to I-75 South will be closed through Monday as well.
The Ohio Department of Transportation held a news conference at 2:00 p.m. Monday on the update of the construction from the accident.
Two lanes of I-75 southbound reopened early on Monday morning. The left lanes at the scene of the crash remain closed. All northbound lanes of I-75 have reopened.
ODOT also says the ramp from SR-4 and Main Street will remain closed while traffic is shifted to the outer lanes of southbound I-75.
Contractors will be out overnight looking at the pavement and will need to remove any destroyed portions — then remark the road.
We spoke with a man who was on scene right away. He said he and another driver tried to rescue the driver in the car, but said the flames and smoke were too powerful and he was worried of another possible explosion.
A massive fireball was seen filling the sky on I-75 in downtown Dayton.
“I knew it was bad,” witness Victoria McNeal said. “Especially, when you heard the explosions.”
That’s where a car driving the wrong way on Southbound I-75 crashed into a gasoline tanker, triggering a massive explosion. The driver of the car died in the crash, the semi-truck driver escaped with minor injuries.
Large clouds of black smoke were seen filling the air, some smoke even billowing out of storm drains nearby. McNeal says she couldn’t believe what she was watching.
“I prayed,” McNeal said. “That no one was hurt badly.”
First responders, including hazmat crews, rushed to scene just after 4:30 Sunday afternoon.
“We had quite a large scene,” Dayton Police Lt. Mark Ponichtera said. “Large explosions going on right now. Fire had to let that burn out before they were able to put foam on that.”
Both north and south bound lanes were shut down, allowing O-DOT crews to check for any damage to the interstate.
“The Department of Transportation is on-scene and they are going to make an assessment of the freeway to make sure it’s structurally sound,” Lt. Ponichtera said. “And they have representatives on-site to begin their repairs so we are able to conduct our accidents investigation and at this moment we are not able to begin to do that.”
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has yet to release the identity of the driver.
2 NEWS Anchor Mark Allan looked into the issue previously. Read that story and watch the dramatic video here.