Victim ID’d in fatal crash after steel coil falls off truck in Butler County

Driver dies of multiple traumatic injuries; death ruled an accident.

A 33-year-old Seven Mile man has been identified by the Butler County Coroner’s Office as the person who died Wednesday when his SUV was hit by steel coil that fell from a semi-tractor trailer.

Blake A. Mulder, of North Main Street, was killed when his Ford Edge was hit by a steel coil as he drove south on U.S. 127 in St. Clair Twp. He died of multiple traumatic injuries and his death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s office.

The crash that happened about 6:20 a.m. on U.S. 127 near Morganthaler Road closed the busy road for about eight hours.

A semi-tractor trailer owned by Total Package Express Inc. was traveling north on U.S. 127, also called Hamilton Eaton Road, and was carrying a steel coil that became unsecured, fell into the southbound lane and struck Mulder’s SUV, the sheriff’s office said. Mulder was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two crash reports were filed in connection with the fatal crash report — one from the semi driver, Keith Blackwell of Louisville, Kentucky, who reported about 6:15 a.m. that another truck almost ran him off the road, and a second involving two drivers whose vehicles were disabled when they drove into the crash debris field.

Blackwell called 911 to report a coil had fallen in the road, but he didn’t know another vehicle had been hit, according to the call.

“I am on 127 north of Hamilton. I am in a big truck. I haul steel and one of my coils came off my trailer,” the truck driver told dispatchers. He said he was about an eighth of a mile from where the coil fell.

When asked where the coil went, he said “traffic is stopped back there so it must be in the road. Nobody is injured or anything, but it came out of my trailer.”

He said another motorist driving a truck had run him off the road into the grass several miles back. He stopped the other driver to talk about the incident, but he didn’t seem to understand what he was saying.

“I came across the railroad tracks and around the corner, and I just heard something,” he said. Then he stopped and discovered he was missing a coil.

According to the crash report, the coil that fell weighed 22,430 pounds. No charges have been filed yet in connection with the crash.

On the other side of the crash, a woman called 911 reporting an SUV in a ditch with a strong smell of gasoline.

“There has been a bad accident, there is debris all over the road,” the woman told dispatchers. She and others could not see in the vehicle to see whether anyone was inside.

She said she could only see one vehicle. “I don’t even know what they hit.”

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