UPDATE: Van Slams into Trailer Blocking Both I-80 Lanes; One Man, Five Children Injured
According to police, the accident occurred around 2:29 a.m. It involved 25-year-old Bizimungu Francois, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and 34-year-old Avrohom Gruen, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Police say a 2012 Freightliner Acadia tractor-trailer, driven by Francois, was disabled from a previous crash, facing south. The truck was turned over on its passenger’s side, and the trailer was blocking both westbound lanes of I-80 in front of mile marker 66.6.
Gruen was traveling westbound in a 2008 Honda Odyssey in the right lane when he came upon the tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes.
The van hit the trailer, penetrating halfway into the unit causing multiple air bags to deploy, as well as severe damage to the front of the vehicle.
The van came to a final rest facing westbound, still lodged inside the trailer.
Francois was not injured.
Gruen suffered suspected minor injuries. He was using a seat belt.
Five juvenile passengers in Gruen’s van suffered injuries of unknown severity.
All occupants of the van were transported to medical facilities, including Children’s Hospital.
It is unknown whether the passengers were using seat belts.
The investigation continues.
According to a representative of Clarion County Office of Emergency Services, Clarion-based State Police; Shippenville-Elk Volunteer Fire Department; Clarion Fire & Hose Company #1; Corsica Volunteer Fire Department; Southern Clarion County Ambulance; Clarion Hospital Ambulance; Shippenville Ambulance; Knox Ambulance; Jefferson County EMS, and two STAT MedEvac’s were dispatched to the scene.
Two individuals were taken from the scene by STAT MedEvac.
One individual was later flown by STAT MedEvac from Clarion Hospital.
A portion of I-80 West was closed on Friday morning as a result of the collision.
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