Fremont man dies after collision with snow plow

CARROLL TWP. A Fremont man died Wednesday morning after his car slammed into a snow plow on Salem-Ca
May 24, 2010



A Fremont man died Wednesday morning after his car slammed into a snow plow on Salem-Carroll Road.

William D. Federico, 44, 2200 block of Croghan St., was pronounced dead at the scene at about 5:55 a.m. by Ottawa County Coroner Jerome McTague, according to the Sandusky post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Kurtis J. Lenke, 30, 5500 block of N. Lemon Road in Oak Harbor, was driving an Ottawa County snow plow and was uninjured in the crash.

Federico was traveling east on Salem-Carroll Road west of Carroll-Erie Road when he began to slide back and forth on the snow-covered road. Lenke was traveling west, removing snow and salting the road, when Federico's car slid across the centerline, troopers said.

Lenke was driving about 25 mph, but slowed to a stop when he saw Federico lose control, Sgt. Eric Short said.

Lenke also took evasive action and pulled off the side of the road, but Federico's 1985 Oldsmobile hit on the passenger side and "peeled open like a can opener," Short said.

"You have to look at a snow plow blade... that doesn't give," he said. "A snow plow is like hitting a brick wall. The wall is going to win every time."

The Oldsmobile was towed away. The 2006 International plow truck had minor damage and was driven from the scene.

Lenke was not cited for the crash, Short said.

Alcohol was not considered a factor in the crash, but the crash remains under investigation.

Short said they will investigate whether the snow plow had any mechanical defects that may have contributed to the crash. He said this is normal procedure for any crash investigation.

The fatality is the first of the year for the Sandusky post and Short said drivers should slow down and proceed with caution.

"You always got to be careful and always assume there are slick spots," he said. "There's all kinds of variables out there."