WINONA - A Hanoverton-area woman was seriously injured when the SUV she was driving slammed into the rear of a flatbed truck on Monday, leaving her trapped for nearly two hours.
Tina M. Walker, 35, of Campbell Road, was flown by medical helicopter to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Boardman after firefighters and others had to cut her from the wreckage using a Jaws of Life and other tools. Her two young children appeared unhurt but were taken to Salem Community Hospital as a precaution.
The accident occurred about a half mile south of Winona Road. Walker was driving a GMC Yukon XL south on Route 9 when she drove into the back of a Mack flatbed truck hauling a load of cement block for Chappell and Zimmerman of Salem.
Morning Journal/Tom Giambroni
This SUV slammed into the back of a flatbed truck Monday on state Route 9.
Eyewitnesses said the flatbed had slowed, apparently while searching for the address to deliver the cement block, when the accident occurred at 11:45 a.m. Witnesses said the Yukon did not appear to brake, nor were there any indication of tire skid marks.
The Yukon became wedged under the flatbed, leaving Walker, who was wearing a seatbelt, pinned in her seat. In the backseat were Samantha J. Walker, 6, and Troy A. Walker, age 4 months, both of whom were in child car seats and were not seriously injured, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Rescue workers were able to get the children from the Yukon but not Walker, whose legs remained trapped under the crushed front end. Firefighters from Hanover Township, Winona and Damascus worked for more than 90 minutes to extricate Walker, using the Jaws of Life and other devices to cut off the roof of the Yukon to get at her. A hand-powered chain hoist attached to the flatbed was used to lift the crushed front end off enough to free Walker's legs.
Also in the Yukon was a cat in a pet carrier. About 30 minutes after the accident a cat emerged unharmed, although the carrier was dented.
An inspector from the state patrol was called in to inspect and weigh the flatbed, which officials explained is standard procedure for accidents involving commercial vehicles. The driver of the flatbed truck was identified as Ryian Vanpelt, 42, of Salem.
The investigation into the accident remains pending, but the report indicated contributing circumstances were that Walker was following too closely. No citations were issued as of Monday afternoon.