MARTINSBURG — A 5-year-old Amish girl is in critical condition in Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus after she was pinned under a truck Tuesday morning. The crash happened at 9:05 a.m. on U.S. 62 at Deal Road, north of Martinsburg.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Mat Whims said the horse and buggy with three Amish girls, ages 17, 15 and 5, was driving north on U.S. 62. A truck driven by Joseph Scarano, 46, Montgomery, Texas, was also northbound and started to pass the buggy.
The young woman driving the buggy started a left turn onto Deal Road and the horse was hit by the right front corner of the tractor-trailer. The 5-year-old was ejected from the buggy and fell to the pavement between, and pinned partially under, the tandem wheels of the truck. The older girls were not injured. The horse suffered only scrapes.
Bladensburg Fire Department rescuers used air bags placed under the truck to lift it off the girl, who was pinned on the road for 45 minutes. She was flown to Columbus by MedFlight helicopter. Whims said a patrol crash reconstruction crew was called to the scene to photograph and map out the crash scene.
A patrol commercial trooper also came to check on the status of the truck and driver. The truck is owned by A-R Logistics of Morris, Ill., and was loaded with plastic pellets in a bulk carrier trailer. The gross weight was listed at 72,000. The crash is still under investigation, awaiting results of the crash reconstruction. Traffic on U.S. 62 was rerouted into Mount Vernon from Ohio 229 and Ohio 586 at Martinsburg. The road was opened at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday.
The intersection has been the scene of numerous crashes over the years. Northbound traffic comes over a blind hillcrest less than 100 yards from the corner. Southbound traffic comes up out of a dip when approaching the corner, a distance of perhaps 200 yards.
Beverly Trombley, who lives a short distance to the east off Deal Road, said even if drivers look both ways on Deal Road at the intersection came come on the corner very quickly.
“Even if the state put signs warning traffic on U.S. 62 of the intersection, drivers woudn’t pay an attention,” she said.
Bladensburg Fire Chief Nick Cockrell said drivers don’t look both ways when they stop at U.S. 62. Ted Higgins, who also lives near the corner, said the blind hillcrest and dip in the road are major safety problems.
“It’s a very deceiving intersection,” is the opinion of Matt Cello, who lives in the very corner of the intersection. Cello added that the owner of the land on the southwest corner of the intersection, James Yoder, had taken out a dirt embankment on the south side of Deal Road in order to improve visibility.