CHESTERVILLE — An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, a wrong-way driver and a person who had stopped to help were all injured after a crash on Interstate 71 in Morrow County early Thursday.
According to the Patrol, a call was received of a possible impaired driver near State Route 95 on I-71 about 2:40 a.m.
Trooper Jason Phillips responded to the call and was struck head-on by another vehicle, being driven by Michael Marchak Jr., 36, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes, causing both vehicles to catch fire.
Phillips was flown to a Columbus area hospital in critical condition. Marchak was taken to OhioHealth-MedCentral Hospital in critical condition.
The OHSP said the vehicle Phillips was dispatched to investigate was the one being driven by Marchak. Another person who had stopped to provide assistance after the crash was also critically injured and was flown to a Columbus hospital.
Northbound lanes of I-71 were closed for several hours after the crash, but were reopened.
The patrol continues to investigate.
In a post on Facebook, Ohio Going Blue asked for “thoughts and prayers” for the trooper and the others involved in the crash.