The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 4, 2014

3-vehicle crash on Route 20 in Conneaut injures 4 people

CONNEAUT — Four people were injured in a three-vehicle crash that closed a section of Route 20 on Conneaut’s west side early Thursday afternoon, according to reports.

Details were sketchy early Thursday night and names of the victims were not immediately available from police.

The crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. in front of the main entrance to the Conneaut Plaza shopping center. A pickup truck, SUV and sedan were involved, and occupants from each were transported to hospitals, said Conneaut Fire Capt. Tim Zee.

Personnel from Kingsville and Ashtabula townships were dispatched to the scene. Five ambulances from the three departments responded to the call. Three people were taken to UH Conneaut Medical Center, while the fourth was transported to Ashtabula County Medical Center, Zee said. A medical helicopter was summoned to take at least one of the victims to a Cleveland hospital.

Impact apparently occurred beneath a traffic signal at the primary entrance to the plaza. The signal, which had been set to blinking, caution light mode for many months, was made fully operational again with the opening of a medical clinic in the plaza several weeks ago.

Firefighters used hydraulic tools to free the driver of the SUV, a woman, from the wreckage, Zee said. “She had to be extricated from the vehicle,” he said.

The other vehicles were scattered over the four lanes of the highway. Through traffic was routed through the plaza parking lot until the wreckage was removed.

Conneaut firefighters were sent from the crash scene to the lakefront in response to call of a boat in distress on Lake Erie, Zee said. The boat was drifting and reportedly taking on water about 3.5 miles north of the Conneaut Harbor lighthouse, firefighters were told.

A Coast Guard helicopter from the Buffalo, N.Y., station located the boat and hoisted the occupants aboard, Zee said. The copter was scheduled to land in Erie, Pa., he said.

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