Car, semi collide in Seneca Township

Drivers of a car and semi escaped serious injury when their vehicles collided in Seneca Township Monday morning.

Trooper Garry Odom of the Fremont post of State Highway Patrol said Devin Goetz, 19, of Tiffin, who was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, and Dennis Baker, 57, of Columbus, who was driving a 2011 Volvo, were lucky.

The semi was southbound and the car was northbound on SR 53, south of Tiffin. Odom said the car went off the east side of the road, came back onto the road into the northbound lane and went left of center, colliding with the semi.

Goetz said his vehicle left the road because he was trying to turn off his GPS, Odom said. Goetz was issued a left-of-center citation.

Odom said Goetz was taken to Mercy Tiffin Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He was being treated and released Monday. Baker was not injured, Odom said.

Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, he said.

Baker’s semi was hauling about 35,000 pounds of Heinz ketchup he had picked up in Fremont and was taking to Columbus.

There was a minimal diesel spill with no anticipated long-term effects.

Dan Stahl, director of Seneca County Emergency Management Agency, said he did not know how much diesel leaked. No one was sure how full the truck’s 100-gallon tank was, he said.

Sysco, the trucking company, hired a cleanup contractor, and a crew will excavate any contaminated soil today, Stahl said.

Fire department personnel placed a dam in the ditch so the fuel could not travel downstream.

“It’s all just lying right there,” Stahl said.

Personnel from the county’s Echo unit, McCutchenville Volunteer Fire Department, New Riegel EMS, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Seneca County Emergency Management Agency, Seneca County Sheriff’s Office and State Highway Patrol responded to the crash.

It was reported at 9:03 a.m. Monday, a Seneca County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.

SR 53 remained closed to traffic for several hours after the accident.