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Troopers investigating after pursuit ends in fiery crash on I-71 in Richland County

Posted at 11:26 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 11:26:46-04

RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating after a pursuit that began in Ashland County ended in a fiery crash Sunday evening in Richland County.

Around 5:17 p.m., troopers received a call that a white GMC Sierra was driving recklessly in the southbound lanes of Interstate 71.

After spotting the pickup truck near state Route 250 in Ashland County and attempting to initiate a traffic stop, the driver of the truck would not pull over and a pursuit began, troopers said.

The truck continued driving at various speeds down I-71, swerving in and out of traffic before intentionally hitting a patrol car, which then crashed into the highway median cables, according to troopers.

Troopers were able to deploy stop-sticks but the truck continued for a short time before it crashed into a bridge pillar and became engulfed in flames near state Route 13 in Richland County.

After the crash, troopers rushed to the truck and found the driver, who was unconscious. Troopers removed the driver from the burning vehicle and moved him to a safe location before he was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Troopers believe impairment is a factor in the incident but no charges have been filed at this time.

The incident remains under investigation.