GAMBIER — An accident that closed Ohio 229 for several hours on Monday took the life of a Knox County Highway Department worker.
Damian M. Simon, 49, Mount Vernon, died Monday as a result of injuries he received after the county truck he was driving westbound on Ohio 229 was struck head on by a cement truck driven by Bobby L. McCloy, 50, Coshocton.
McCloy was eastbound, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, when the cement truck, owned by Small’s Sand and Gravel, overturned and slid left of center.
Both men were trapped in their vehicles.
Personnel from the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District, College Township Fire Department and Mount Vernon Fire Department responded to the accident and rescued Simon and McCloy from their vehicles.
Two MedFlight helicopters transported both men to Columbus hospitals.
Simon was an eight-year veteran of the Knox County Highway Department. A spokesperson at the department said he was working with a road patching crew on Monday. His truck was empty and he was returning to Small’s for a load of asphalt when the crash occurred.
It was McCloy’s first day on the job, according to Bobby Small, who stated it’s unknown as to just how the truck turned over.
McCloy had been driving trucks for other companies since 1990.
No fuel reportedly leaked from the cement truck, which was carrying a wet concrete mix. Small said that there was a small amount of concrete mix on the ground but he had heard no report of any cleanup procedures as the Ohio State Highway Patrol was still investigating the crash.
“We’re wanting to know the answers as much as anyone else,” said Small. “We’re happy that one driver made it. But the other driver ... we’re just upset over it.”
As of Monday evening, Small said McCloy was suffering from two brain bleeds, a broken rib and a broken collarbone. He is listed in critical condition at OSU Medical Center.
OSHP is still investigating the accident. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor at this time.