PDT Staff Writer
A spectacular two-vehicle crash on U.S. 23 near McDonald’s in Portsmouth left all four lanes of that main thoroughfare closed for several hours Friday morning. At 11 a.m., all four lanes remained closed as reconstruction officers went over the scene in an attempt to determine the cause of the wreck.
The crash involved an Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser, operated by Trooper Mike Keating, a recent addition to the Portsmouth Post, and a 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Williard McFarland, 76, of Portsmouth.
Keating was flown from Southern Ohio Medical Center to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, while McFarland was taken by a ground emergency vehicle also to Grant Medical Center. Friday afternoon Portsmouth Post Commander Lt. Karla Taulbee said Keating was in the process of going into surgery on his elbow and had also received stitches in his knee. She zsaid McFarland was preparing to be released.
“The crash is still under investigation, and it doesn’t appear that any of the injuries are life threatening,” Dispatcher Sonia Banks said.
“I have to credit really good driving by Keating, who was able to turn and keep from hitting the drivers door,” Taulbee said. “It could have been a lot worse.”
The wreck occurred at 6:50 a.m., and according to sources at the scene, the trooper’s vehicle was traveling north on U.S. 23, while the McFarland car was pulling from a parking lot onto the highway. Multiple law enforcement and EMT vehicles responded to the scene, and members of the Rosemount Fire Department, aided by other departments, had to cut Keating from the car, finally removing the roof before securing him to a backboard, and placing him on a gurney.
While emergency workers worked to free Keating, his wife arrived at the scene.
Keating was the subject of a Portsmouth Daily Times story about recently graduating from the OSHP Academy, and being hired on at the Portsmouth Post.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.