DEFIANCE, Ind. (WANE) – A 54-year-old man is dead after he lost control of his vehicle on U.S. 24 when the roadway was wet and crashed into a parked semi Tuesday evening.
At approximately 10:45 p.m., troopers with the Defiance Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol were dispatched to U.S. 24 approximately half a mile east of Jewel Road.
Responding troopers report that Lyle E. Smith Jr., 54, of Ney, Ohio, was driving a Jeep Wrangler westbound on U.S. 24 when he lost control of his vehicle on the wet roadway. He then traveled into the right shoulder and hit a parked semi.
The driver of the parked semi was Clarence A. Pedigo, 54, of Indianapolis. Troopers report that Pedigo was parked on the shoulder to perform weather related maintenance on the semi. His hazard lights were activated and he was not injured.
Smith succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene, troopers report. Smith was reportedly wearing his safety belt at the time of the crash, and drugs or alcohol are not suspected to be a factor.
U.S. 24 westbound was closed for about an hour and a half.
The Patrol was assisted by the Defiance County Coroner, the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office, Defiance Police Department, Jewel Fire and EMS, Richland Township Fire and EMS as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation. The crash remains under investigation.