Crashes shut down U.S. 52

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The saying goes that “one thing often leads to another.” Unfortunately, the

“thing” in this case was a motor vehicle crashes and the “another” became another crash, power outages and backed up traffic.

A one-vehicle automobile crash along County Road 1 Monday evening caused a tractor-trailer and Jeep collision a few miles away on U.S. 52, backing up traffic for more than an hour. Two people from the accidents were sent to the hospital.

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The problem began at approximately 5:30 p.m. when a Jeep Cherokee struck a power pole along County Road 1 near Burlington, shearing the pole and leaving 3,100 customers in Chesapeake and Burlington in the dark until approximately 9 p.m.

“The driver had to be extricated. We couldn’t do anything until AEP (American Electric Power) got there to shut off the power. We had live power lines all over the place,” said Chesapeake/ Union Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rick Slack. “We had to cut off two doors but the extrication went well. The guys did well.”

The driver of the Jeep, identified as 21-year-old Zachery Waugh, of Chesapeake, was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The downed power pole wreaked havoc on traffic a few miles away on U.S. 52, knocking out the signals, which officials on the scene said likely led to a collision between a tractor trailer and a Jeep Wrangler with Florida license plates.

A variety of law enforcement and emergency response personnel were on the scene past 7:30 p.m. trying to piece together what happened and clean up the mess.

“It looks like the semi was eastbound,” Slack said. “Other than that, I am not real sure what direction the Jeep was headed.”

The semi, owned by Conley Trucking out of Wheelersburg and driven by Geoffrey Brisker, 47, also of Wheelersburg, ended up straddling the median facing eastward in the westbound lane.

The Jeep, driven by Denver M. Jenkins, 52, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was upside down in the median. Dozens of onlookers gathered alongside 52, trying to figure out what was going on, as emergency crews worked to maintain traffic.

South East Ohio Emergency Medical Services transported Brisker to St. Mary’s Medical Center. Jenkins was also taken to a local hospital but information was not available as of press time about his injuries or what hospital he was taken to.

In addition to Chesapeake/Union Township, Burlington/ Fayette Volunteer Fire Departments No. 1 and 2, the South Point Volunteer Fire Department, the Chesapeake Police, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol all responded.