COLUMBUS – An Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper and another motorist were injured this morning in a two-vehicle crash that occurred on Interstate 71 near Mount Gilead.
At approximately 2:40 a.m., a trooper was dispatched to locate a possible impaired driver reported to be in the area of milepost 155 on Interstate 71. The trooper was struck head-on by another vehicle traveling south in the north bound lanes. As a result of the crash, both vehicles caught fire.
A Good Samaritan stopped to provide assistance after the crash and was also injured. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was transported to a hospital in Mansfield. The trooper and Good Samaritan were flown to hospitals in Columbus.
The north bound lanes of Interstate 71 are now open. The crash remains under investigation by the Patrol, more information will be provided as it becomes available.
UPDATE – 8:00 a.m.
Trooper Jason Phillips, was flown to the OSU Medical Center and is in critical condition. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle, Michael Marchak Jr, 36, of Mansfield, is listed in critical condition at OhioHealth-MedCentral hospital in Mansfield. Further investigation has determined the vehicle being driven by Marchak is the same vehicle Trooper Phillips was dispatched to investigate.