Thursday, August 23, 2001

Truck driver dies in crash in Loveland

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        LOVELAND — Failing brakes on a steep hill may have led to a two-vehicle crash Wednesday morning that killed one man, injured another person and sent a dump truck loaded with hot asphalt plunging into the Little Miami River in downtown Loveland.

        The truck driver, Howard Newby, 65, of Hebron, Ky. was killed. Linda Lacey, 24 of Loveland, the driver of a car hit by the dump truck, was treated at Bethesda North Hospital and released.

        The drivers were alone in their vehicles.

        Police say the single-axle dump truck was westbound on Broadway Street when it came down the hill and struck Ms. Lacey's oncoming 1998 Ford Escort.

        The truck then missed a curve, went airborne and ended up in the river.

        Mr. Newby was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash happened just after 9 a.m.

        “We think it was a brake failure on the truck,” Loveland Police Sgt. Tony Burkhart said.

        “He was airborne, hit the grassy area and went into the water.”

        The truck came to rest in the river just past a railroad trestle near E. Broadway Street and Crutchfield Place. The accident closed the area for much of the day.

        It took firefighters, hampered by a severe thunderstorm, about an hour to pull the truck from the river and cut Mr. Newby's body from the wreckage.

        They also had to dig away some of the asphalt in the truck that had spilled onto the vehicle's cab.

        Crews initially waited about two hours for a heavy-duty wrecker to assist with recovering the dump truck — the body still inside.

        “Once we got here ... it was determined right up front that (Mr. Newby) was deceased,” Loveland-Symmes Fire Chief Jim Hunter said. “The top of the cab was crushed down on him.”

        Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials, who were notified of the accident about 30 minutes after it happened, said any environmental damage to the river or bank would be minimal.

        “When we first got there our primary concern was for the driver, so we weren't really pushing a cleanup,” said Andy Thompson, Ohio EPA spokesman.

        “Eventually, any kind of spill that occurred will be addressed. Our primary concern was that the (truck's gasoline) tanks would rupture during removal. And that didn't happen.”


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