Video: Woman critical after car collides with two semis

State Route 21 was reopened late Thursday afternoon after being closed close to 4 hours due to the serious injury crash. BETHLEHEM TWP. It was shortly before 1 p.m. when Brandon Symons saw the flash of a semitrailer zoom by the window outside of his office. Seconds later he heard a loud crash and felt the building shake as the semi careened into the side of the building at DJS Maintenance and Construction Co. on Dolphin Street SW. Symons, president of DJS, said Thursday afternoon’s crash that left a 27-year-old Canton-area woman hospitalized in critical condition was not the first time a vehicle struck the building. He was grateful no employees were hurt when the front of the semi crashed into the western side of the building.

“I would say it is one of the most dangerous intersections in Tuscarawas and Stark counties,” Symons said of state Route 21 where it meets state Route 212 at the county line. “This happens four or five times a year.” Symons watched as emergency crews worked the scene outside of the business. The woman was critically injured in the head-on collision involving two semitrailers. Traffic came to a halt on state Route 21, as rescue crews from multiple departments worked to free the woman from a Honda Civic after her southbound car crashed into a northbound semi that also side-swiped another semi.

The woman was removed from the vehicle and rushed to a waiting ambulance. Erie Valley Fire Chief Rick Annen said it took rescue crews 45 minutes to free her. She was transported to Summa Akron City Hospital in critical condition, he said. Emergency workers from Strasburg, Beach City and the Ohio Highway Patrol also responded, shutting down the southbound lane of Route 21 and diverting northbound traffic. The driver of one of the semis, who declined to give his name, said he was traveling north on Route 21 when the Honda, traveling south, tried to pass another semi driven by a Massillon-area man who was heading south on the same road.

The northbound driver said he couldn’t slow to a stop and crashed into the Honda, sideswiped the other semi, then traveled into the grass and continued on striking Symons’ construction company building. The other semi had stopped in the southbound lane of Route 21. Hayley McBride, of Sugarcreek Township, said she heard the woman in the Honda screaming for help following the collision. She was alert and talking to McBride before rescue crews arrived, she said. Route 21 south was closed at Johnsford Road SW. Motorists traveling north on Route 21 were rerouted through a nearby parking lot.

The drivers of both semis had non life-threatening injuries, according to Lt. Ryan Shanower of Erie Valley Fire and Rescue. Ohio Edison crews arrived just before 2 p.m. to cut electrical service to the construction building that was damaged by the semi. The Ohio Department of Transportation also assisted at the scene. The crash scene was cleared, and Route 21 was reopened at 4:40 p.m. Thursday, according to an OHP dispatcher.

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