PDT Staff Report
West Portsmouth, OH —The Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that occurred around 3:50 pm on July 18, 2015. The crash happened on US 52, near milepost 19 in Washington Township.
Billy Joe Buchanan, age 79, of South Lyon, MI was driving a 2010 Ford Escort eastbound in the westbound passing lane on US 52. Mr. Buchanan was a wrong way driver on a divided roadway and struck an oncoming vehicle head-on. Stanley R. Wetzel, age 67. of Portsmouth, OH was driving a 2000 Honda Accord, westbound on US 52 with two passengers. Mr. Wetzel’s vehicle was struck in the driver’s side door as he attempted to avoid being struck by Mr. Buchanan’s vehicle.
Mr. Wetzel was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Scioto County Coroner and transported to the Southern Ohio Medical Center’s morgue.
Mr. Wetzel’s passengers, Gladys Irene Wetzel, age 57, of West Portsmouth and a juvenile female were both airlifted from the scene and taken to St. Mary’s Ilospital in Huntington, WV. Gladys Irene Wetzel is listed in critical condition at this time. The juvenile passenger is listed in stable condition at this time.
Mr. Buchanan was transported to Grant Hospital in Columbus, OH by Health Net and is listed in stable condition.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted at the scene by Washington Township EMS and Fire Department, Scioto County Sheriff Department and Scioto County Coroner.
The crash remains under investigation by personnel of the Portsmouth Post and further information will be released when available.