Ohio woman killed in US-23 crash identified; freeway reopened

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A 68-year-old Ohio woman died in a chain reaction crash on US-23 Monday in Monroe County.

A semi-truck lost coils of steel before rear-ending a trailer which in turn hit the victim's car. That stretch of highway is back open after it was shut down for hours.

In the midst of the debris scattered across the southbound lanes are almost unrecognizable vehicles involved in a chain reaction crash which took the life of Janet Rheinecker from Sylvania, Ohio  

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office say 54-year-old Jeffery Bowling an Ohio truck driver, caused the wreck.  It happened around 12:30 p.m. Monday in a rural stretch of the highway less than 13 miles from the Ohio border.

Kevin Holzapfel lives in the house closest to the accident scene and says this isn't unique.

FOX 2: "How often do accidents happen?"

A couple times a year," he said. "Especially in this mile stretch."

FOX 2: "What is it about this stretch of road?"

"I don't know," he said.

Others heard emergency sirens and came to help from all different directions. The crash is less than a quarter mile from a dead end street. Some of the first responders created this bridge over a creek to get to the crash scene down the road.

Pictures were taken by another neighbor as a life-flight helicopter landed on the highway shortly after the crash. FOX 2 watched as the semi and a trailer were towed away.

The crash closed the highway for hours, backing up traffic for miles. Then just as the highway was set to re-open, another crash happened in the southbound back-up bringing everything to a standstill once again.

No injuries were involved in the second one.  As for the fatal crash, the sheriff's office says the semi driver was likely not paying attention to stopped traffic due to construction ahead, and crashed into an F-150 with a trailer.

That  trailer then hit a Lexus and killed the 68-year old driver, Rheinecker.