Ohio State Highway Patrol car

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP -- Troopers are investigating a serious injury crash early Thursday morning involving a pedestrian in the northbound lanes of I-71 near the U.S. 250 overpass.

A pedestrian entered the right lane of northbound I-71 and was struck by a 2021 Freightliner semi-truck and trailer at 3 a.m., according to an emailed press release from the Ashland Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The pedestrian, Gene A. Geaslen, 77, of Ashland, Ohio, was taken by Ashland City EMS to Samaritan Hospital with life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

He was later transferred to Akron City Hospital and then to the Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. The driver of the semi-truck, Michael Russell Lake Jr., 33, of Elyria, Ohio, was not injured and remained on scene, the patrol said.

The right two lanes of I-71 were closed for approximately 1 hour.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department, the Ashland City Police Department and Ashland City EMS.

The crash remains under investigation, however, the driver of the semi-truck is not considered at fault, the patrol said.

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