I-71 North Reopens Following Fatal Crash - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

I-71 North Reopens Following Fatal Crash

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Credit: Jim Kuhns Credit: Jim Kuhns
DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio -

A construction worker was killed in a crash involving a commercial vehicle that prompted the closure of Interstate 71 in Delaware County Monday morning.

The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of I-71 near milepost 124, just north of Polaris Parkway, at about 9:45 a.m.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a worker from the Ohio Department of Transportation was operating a backhoe on the right berm when a semi drove off the right side of the roadway, striking the backhoe.

The semi flipped over and became engulfed in flames.

The ODOT worker, 27-year-old Lee Rizor, of Mt. Gilead, was pronounced dead at the scene.

ODOT Director Jerry Wray issued the following statement about Rizor:

"Our hearts are heavy at ODOT today as we lost an employee in a very tragic accident. Lee M. Rizor was a dedicated highway worker with more than five years of service to the department. He left home this morning with the expectation that he would return to his family at the end of the work day unharmed. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rizor family during this very difficult time."

Rizor began working for ODOT in January 2008 as a highway technician.

The driver of the commercial vehicle, Dwayne Allen Hill Sr., 59, of Ashland, Va., was transported to The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center in critical condition.

According to the ODOT, I-71 north was closed in both directions after the crash. The northbound lanes reopened at about 6:30 p.m.

The ramps from I-270 east and west to I-71 north, and from Gemini Place to I-71 north were also closed, but reopened by 4 p.m.

The southbound lanes of I-71 were closed briefly but were reopened by 11:20 a.m.

A construction worker was killed in a crash involving a commercial vehicle that prompted the closure of Interstate 71 in Delaware County Monday morning.

The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of I-71 near milepost 124, just north of Polaris Parkway, at about 9:45 a.m.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a worker from the Ohio Department of Transportation was operating a backhoe on the right berm when a semi drove off the right side of the roadway, striking the backhoe.

The semi flipped over and became engulfed in flames.

The ODOT worker, 27-year-old Lee Rizor, of Mt. Gilead, was pronounced dead at the scene.

ODOT Director Jerry Wray issued the following statement about Rizor:

"Our hearts are heavy at ODOT today as we lost an employee in a very tragic accident. Lee M. Rizor was a dedicated highway worker with more than five years of service to the department. He left home this morning with the expectation that he would return to his family at the end of the work day unharmed. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rizor family during this very difficult time."

Rizor began working for ODOT in January 2008 as a highway technician.

The driver of the commercial vehicle, Dwayne Allen Hill Sr., 59, of Ashland, Va., was transported to The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center in critical condition.

According to the ODOT, I-71 north was closed in both directions after the crash. The northbound lanes reopened at about 6:30 p.m.

The ramps from I-270 east and west to I-71 north, and from Gemini Place to I-71 north were also closed, but reopened by 4 p.m.

The southbound lanes of I-71 were closed briefly but were reopened by 11:20 a.m.

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