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One injured in I-70 wreck that stalled traffic for hours

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — A motorist was transported to a local hospital early Monday after sustaining minor injuries in a crash that brought a massive sign down on Interstate 70 in St. Clairsville.

The wreck, involving two tractor-trailers, left a portion of I-70 eastbound closed from around 1:30 a.m. until 7 a.m. as first responders worked to clear the wreckage and the Ohio Department of Transportation removed a large overhead traffic sign that had fallen onto the roadway. The accident occurred near milepost 219 just before the I-470 split.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Jenna Mahovlich, 32, of St. Marys, Pennsylvania, was driving a semi truck on I-70 eastbound when she struck a tanker truck from behind. Lt. Maurice Waddell, commander of the St. Clairsville post, said it appeared the tanker truck, driven by 36-year-old Sean Macdead of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was reducing its speed when the vehicle was struck from the rear.

The force of the collision pushed Macdead’s vehicle into a guardrail and the truss of a traffic sign on the right side of the road, leaving the sign partially resting on the roadway.

Mahovlich was transported to Wheeling Hospital with minor injuries.

Waddell said Mahovlich was cited with assured clear distance ahead for the incident.

Dave Ivan, director of the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency, said a small amount of diesel fuel was spilled onto the road; however, no other hazardous materials were spilled.

“The tanker truck did not leak any fluids,” he said.

Lauren Borell, public information officer for ODOT District 11, said the overhead sign was “heavily damaged” in the accident, leading to crews having to temporarily remove the sign. She said they are unsure when the sign will be reinstalled as the truss must first be repaired before it can be replaced.

In the meantime, a message board will be stationed off the roadway to direct I-470 traffic, she said.

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