The fatal accident on a rest area entrance on Interstate 75 near the Monroe exit illustrates that there aren’t enough parking spaces on the highways for the number of trucks, officials said.
Michael Vosburg, 36, Lawrence, Mich., was sleeping inside his tractor-trailer when a SUV driven by Fei Ni, also known as “Peter,” 39, of Trenton, rear ended his trailer Wednesday morning. Ni was killed in the crash. The cause was multiple traumatic injuries and the death was ruled an accident, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.
Vosburg awoke upon the impact but was not injured. He was issued a traffic citation for parking in a no-parking zone, according to the State Highway Patrol.
Ni, traveling north on I-75, apparently hit the back of a semi truck that was parked on the left side of the rest area entrance ramp.
It’s common in Ohio — including on I-75 and I-70 — to see trucks lined up on the berm of state rest area ramps because no spots are left in the parking lot.
“When you see trucks around ramps or you see them alongside the road, that’s just an accident waiting to happen,” said Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Trucking in Dayton and the former chairman of the American Trucking Associations. “Our government should be providing truck parking.”
The practice of parking on the berm is illegal in some states, but trucks are permitted to do it in Ohio.
“We would always encourage commercial truck drivers to plan their driving hours so they can find an available rest area or truck stop for rest periods. For emergency purposes stopping on a ramp is an option, but only if no signs are posted prohibiting parking,” said Lt. Robert G. Sellers, spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“If they must stop on a ramp, it would be recommended to pull off on the ‘on-ramp’ portion so they are clear of highway traffic.”
Ohio has responded to the problem by adding parking during rest area renovations, including recently doubling spaces at two Warren County rest areas on I-71.