UPDATE 10:35 a.m. — Part of Ohio 2 was closed for about four hours after the crash Tuesday night, according to a new release from the Sandusky post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The driver was identified as David Demaagd, 68, from Spring Lake, Mich. He sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Original post — Huron firefighters were ankle-deep in a frothy mess Tuesday night as they worked for more than half an hour to free a Michigan man whose milk tanker overturned on Ohio 2.
The man, whose identity was not immediately available, was taken by ambulance to Firelands Regional Medical Center, then flown by helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, where hospital staff said it’s expected he’ll survive, Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchers said late Tuesday.
The eastbound lanes of Ohio 2 between U.S. 6 and Mudbrook Road were closed most of Tuesday night and early this morning, as firefighters and Erie County Emergency Management Agency employees worked to clean up the mess. The tanker spilled an unknown quantity of milk and diesel fuel onto the median.
The rig was headed east on Ohio 2 when at about 8:30 p.m. it went off the highway near the U.S. 6 exit, overturning and sliding on its side for nearly a quarter of a mile through the grass median before coming to rest on its side, Highway Patrol troopers said.
The steering column and debris pinned the driver inside the wreckage, firefighters said.
With temperatures below freezing, the grass median quickly became a slushy soup of water, diesel and milk, which firefighters sloshed in for about 40 minutes before they could finally free the driver.
Erie County EMA director Tim Jonovich said hazmat crews were still at the scene at midnight, using pumpers to suck up the diesel-and-milk mix and transfer it into 55-gallon drums. While it was unclear how much milk the tanker may have spilled, Jonovich said it had a carrying capacity of about 6,200 gallons.
Even after it overturned, the tanker still had about 500 gallons inside. Emergency crews had to pump that out before uprighting the tanker, Jonovich said.
At midnight, crews said it would still be a few hours before they could reopen the eastbound lanes of Ohio 2.