Bellefontaine Examiner

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UPDATE: ODOT worker killed, driver critical after crash

COLUMBUS — An Ohio Department of Transportation employee was killed and a commercial vehicle driver left in critical condition following a firey two-vehicle crash Monday morning on Interstate 71, just north Polaris in Delaware County.

I-71crash AP

This aerial view shows a tractor-trailer blocking the northbound lanes of I-71 north of Polaris in Delaware County Monday following a fatal crash that killed an ODOT worker and left the semi's driver in critical conditon.   (AP Photo/Columbus Dispatch, Brooke LaValley - WBNS Chopper 10)

Troopers of the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol report ODOT worker Lee Rizor, 27, of Mt. Gilead, was operating a backhoe off the right side of northbound I-71 about 9:20 a.m. when a commercial truck traveled off the right side of the road and struck the backhoe. The truck then overtuned and caught fire.

Mr. Rizor was pronounced dead at the scene.

The commercial vehicle's driver, Dwayne A. Hill Sr., 59, of Ashland, Va., was transported to the OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, where he is listed in critical condition.

One lane of I-71 north has re-opened. Two lanes remained closed. The ramps from I-270 to I-71 north and the ramp from Gemini to I-71 north also remain closed as of 1:58 p.m., according to Columbus Dispatch reports.

ODOT is recommending drivers use State Route 315 and U.S. Route 23 as alternate routes.

The crash remains under investigation.

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