A Findlay man is dead and his wife in critical condition after their SUV slammed into two trees Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 6.
Ralph Russo, 63, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Nancy Russo, 68, was flown by medical helicopter to a Toledo hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The Russos were traveling west on U.S. 6 near Northwest Road at about 1 p.m. when their Lexus SUV crossed the center line and veered off the south side of the road, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper.
The vehicle slammed into Richard Ryan's mailbox, who was outside mowing his lawn at the time.
Though Ryan didn't see the initial impact, he said the Russos' SUV went airborne after hitting the mailbox. The vehicle then barreled through a road sign, and smashed into two trees in his neighbor's yard.
“As soon as I seen it, I called 911,” Ryan said. “I just finished over there (where the SUV crashed), or else he would've gotten me.”
Erie County deputies, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers and Margaretta Township firefighters rushed to the scene, but Ralph had already faded, according to Ryan.
Meanwhile, Nancy's injuries were very severe, so officials quickly called a medical helicopter to the area.
She remains at University of Toledo Medical Center in critical condition, troopers said Wednesday afternoon.
The pair were both wearing seatbelts and troopers do not believe alcohol was involved. U.S. 6 was closed for about two hours as officials worked to clear the wreckage.
According to the Findlay Courier, Ralph was a prominent Findlay-area attorney.
He served as an assistant prosecutor in Hancock County between 1979 and 1985 and was a Findlay Municipal Court judge.
Nancy was a clinical coordinator of the physicians’ assistant program at the University of Findlay.