One injured in crash in work zone

Staff Report

REEDSVILLE — One person was injured after reportedly hitting an Ohio Department of Transportation vehicle on Thursday afternoon near Reedsville.

According to a news release from the Gallipolis Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Joseph G. Runyon, 53, of Coolville, sustained minor injuries and was transported by Meigs EMS from the scene.

Runyon was traveling westbound on State Route 681 in a 1998 Buick Lesabre. An unoccupied 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 was parked in the the roadway facing west while the occupant of the vehicle was directing traffic with a stop sign due to ODOT having a lane shut down to work on the berm.

According to the news release, Runyon reportedly failed to stop at the stop sign and struck the back of the truck.

The crash occurred at 1:58 p.m. on Thursday near milepost 22 on State Route 681. The roadway was closed for approximately one hour.

Assisting at the scene were the Olive Twp. Volunteer Fire Department, Meigs EMS, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Meigs County ODOT and Riverside Towing.

In an unrelated news release earlier this week, ODOT reminded drivers of work zone safety.

With increased construction throughout the state, it’s more important than ever that motorists follow Ohio’s “move over law.” The law requires drivers to move over for any roadside vehicles with flashing lights. If they cannot move over, they must slow down.

“Drivers should always pay attention, but work zones require extra attention. Just like you, these workers want to go home at the end of the day,” ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said.

According to ODOT, there were 4,536 work zone crashes in Ohio last year. Of those, 18 crashes were fatal and 96 resulted in serious injuries. ODOT will continue to work with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for targeting enforcement of traffic laws in work zones.

Last year, ODOT crews were struck 125 times while on the job. ODOT crews have been hit 52 times already in 2021. A total of 162 ODOT workers have been killed while working to improve Ohio’s roadways.

The Daily Sentinel managing editor Sarah Hawley contributed to this report.

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Staff Report