Richland County – The Mansfield Post responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash on IR 71 southbound near mile post 174, Mifflin Township, at 2259 hours. The caller stated the crash involved a tractor-trailer and a car, and the car was on fire.
The Mansfield Post, Richland County Sheriff’s Deputies and Mifflin Township Fire and EMS arrived on scene. Troopers and Deputies extinguished the flames enough to remove a male who had been partially ejected from the vehicle. Mifflin Township Fire arrived and extinguished the fire entirely. A second occupant was located who had been ejected. Both occupants were pronounced deceased at the scene. The two occupants of the tractor-trailer were not injured.
The preliminary investigation shows a 2010 Jeep Liberty was traveling northbound on IR 71 which was occupied by Allison M McCort, 18, Canton, Ohio, and Evan N Friend, 25, Canton, Ohio. A 2020 Freightliner Cascadia was traveling southbound on IR 71 driven by Mandy J Blair, 51, Grove City, Ohio. The Jeep lost control, ran off the left side of the roadway and traveled into the southbound lanes and was struck by the Freightliner. The Jeep continued into the guardrail and caught fire. The Freightliner struck the guardrail and came to rest in the right lane, disabled from contact with the Jeep. Seatbelts were not used in the Jeep.
IR 71 southbound was closed for approximately four hours for the investigation and removal of debris from the crash.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Mifflin Township Fire and EMS, Richland County Coroner’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation assisted on scene.