SILVERCREEK TWP., Greene County — One man was decapitated and a second man was injured Monday, April 27, in a one-vehicle wreck on U.S. 35 that occurred apparently after a tire failed, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.
Michael A. Justice, 43, of Dayton, was killed when he was ejected from the tow truck he was driving, two miles east of Ohio 72, just before noon, said Patrol Lt. Marty Fellure.
Justice's passenger, Terry Downey, 47, also of Dayton, was flown by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital, where he remained a patient Monday night.
JJustice was eastbound when the front driver’s side tire blew and sent the vehicle across the left lane into the median, Fellure said. The truck tumbled and came to rest in the westbound lanes of U.S. 35.
Downey’s wife, Renee, said her husband hired Justice of Justice Towing to take him from Dayton to Hillsboro to pick up a van.
Renee Downey said her husband had planned to follow Justice’s truck in a separate vehicle, but changed his mind.
She said she was “freaked out” when she learned about the crash.
“I’m six weeks away from delivering our child; that made it even more traumatizing,” she said.
Terry Downey suffered a spinal injury, but is expected to fully recover, she said.
Don Moody of Chillicothe was driving west on U.S. 35 when he came upon the wreck minutes after it happened and approached the scene to assist the victims.
“There was nothing I could do. ... I’ll probably have nightmares about it,” said Moody.
Westbound traffic was shut down for three hours while officials investigated the scene, he said.
It’s unclear if the occupants were wearing their seat belts, Fellure said.
Officials are investigating whether speed, alcohol or drugs played a part in the crash, according to a Highway Patrol report.