A fatal crash on I-70 in Madison County on Saturday, Jan. 9, has left one man dead and two others severely injured, reports ABC News.
Carlos Martinez, a 49-year-old from Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania, was killed as a passenger in a Toyota Prius that was stuck head-on by a gray Dodge Avenger driven by 27-year-old Thomas Farley, reports Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The report stated that the driver of the Prius, 50-year-old Laura Martinez, sustained severe, but non-life threatening injuries. Farley, who is from Columbus, suffered minor injuries.
Authorities said Farley was heading westbound on I-70 near mile marker 83, when he unexpectedly drove off the left side of the road, into the median, and through the cable barrier. The Avenger then went into oncoming lanes of traffic before colliding with the Prius. All three crash victims were wearing a seatbelt, according to the patrol.
The relationship between Carlos and Laura Martinez is still unknown.
Greg Wright, who witnessed the fatal crash, told the Columbus Dispatch that while the crash was awful, it could have been much worse.
“No one should ever have to come across a scene like that,” Wright said. “It’s so sad, and it seems like this didn’t have to happen. So many people who stopped said they’d already been hit. I don’t understand it. This was violence on the roadway. He didn’t just lose control.”
Wright, who had been on his way to visit a friend in Madison County, remained shaken hours after the crash. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Wright was one of the first witnesses to stop and try to help the crash victims.
Wright said he was driving his pickup westbound when he first saw the Dodge in his rearview mirror, and that it was coming up on him fast. According to Wright, the Dodge was moving so quickly that it was impossible for him to switch lanes before the Dodge’s driver drove through the median.
“I just saw a big plume of smoke from the other side of the freeway,” he said. “He had shot through that guardrail like it wasn’t even there,” he continued. “Just tore through it all and peeled it away like he’d been driving a semi.”
According to authorities, Farley’s vehicle hit at least two other vehicles before crashing into the Prius. The Madison County sheriff’s office received 12 separate 911 calls about the crash, a dispatcher confirmed.
Although tragic, Wright said so many people deserve credit for stopping to help in all the chaos.
“You don’t always hear about all the good people,” he said, “who come through in a time of crisis. There were dozens of people trying to help. I just feel so badly for the family of the man who died.”
The crash reportedly closed the eastbound lanes for approximately three hours.
[Photo from Shutterstock]