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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Troopers Investigating Fatal Crash on Interstate Route 71: Update - Driver Identified

In a tragic incident on December 15, 2023, a fatal crash occurred on Interstate Route 71 northbound, near milepost 197 in Wayne County, Ohio. The crash involved a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado and a parked 2009 Kenworth semi tractor-trailer. The driver of the Silverado was pronounced deceased at the scene, while the occupant of the semi remained uninjured.


According to a press release by the Ashland Highway Patrol Post, the fatal crash took place on a Friday morning at approximately 0709 hours. The Silverado was traveling northbound on Interstate Route 71 when it veered off the right side of the roadway and collided with the rear of the parked semi tractor-trailer. The impact caused both vehicles to catch fire, resulting in a fully engulfed blaze.


Due to the intense fire that ensued from the collision, identifying the driver of the Silverado became an arduous task. The trailer being hauled by the semi was loaded with 12,000 pounds of margarine, which acted as an accelerant, further intensifying the fire. As a result, both the trailer and the pickup truck were reduced to burnt metal, making identification nearly impossible.


In order to determine the identity of the deceased driver, the body was sent to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office for further examination. After meticulous forensic analysis, the Medical Examiner was able to positively identify the driver as Thomas Los, a 53-year-old resident of Strongsville, Ohio.


Although the driver has been identified, the investigation into the crash continues. Troopers from the Ashland Highway Patrol Post, along with other agencies including Town & County Fire & EMS, New Pittsburg Fire & EMS, and the Ohio Department of Transportation, are working together to uncover the cause and circumstances surrounding the accident.


Fatal crashes on major highways like Interstate Route 71 are a devastating reminder of the inherent dangers of the road. The Highway Patrol, along with other law enforcement agencies, play a vital role in conducting thorough investigations to determine the factors leading to such accidents. These investigations not only help in understanding the cause of the crash but also aid in devising strategies to prevent similar incidents in the future.


Incidents like the fatal crash on Interstate Route 71 serve as a reminder for all drivers to prioritize road safety. By practicing safe driving habits, such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, adhering to speed limits, and being vigilant on the road, we can collectively contribute to reducing the occurrence of accidents.


The fatal crash on Interstate Route 71 is a tragic incident that claimed the life of Thomas Los. As troopers and other agencies continue their investigation, it is imperative that we remain committed to road safety and raise awareness about the importance of responsible driving. Let us honor the memory of those affected by accidents by promoting a culture of safe driving on our roads. Stay informed, stay cautious, and prioritize the safety of yourself and others while driving.


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