65
      Sunday
      83 / 65
      Monday
      84 / 66
      Tuesday
      86 / 66

      Alleged texting driver who hit ODOT worker on I-75 dies

      The crash forced officials to close down northbound I-75 near the Bancroft Street overpass.

      Update: Sgt. Joe Heffernan of the Toledo Police Department now says investigators have not been able to confirm that the driver who struck an ODOT worker and truck on northbound I-75 on Monday was texting at the time of the crash.

      A police report released on Tuesday identified texting as the cause of the crash, but Sgt. Heffernan now says it was a witness who told police she saw the driver texting.

      Toledo police have not yet recovered a cell phone from the crash.

      Original report: A witness told police that she saw Harder texting just prior to the crash, but Sgt. Joe Heffernen says investigators have not been able to confirm that.

      Toledo police confirm that the driver of an SUV who struck an ODOT worker and truck on northbound I-75 near the Bancroft Street overpass has died.

      Ken Harder, 51, was ejected from his vehicle on impact and taken to a local hospital in serious condition just after 4 p.m. on Monday. He was pronounced dead at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center early Tuesday.

      According to the Toledo police report, Harder was allegedly texting while driving and failed to see two ODOT workers on the side of the road picking up debris in their work truck. He veered off the right side of the roadway and struck Mary Rich, who was standing behind the vehicle, and then slammed into the back of the truck.

      Rich was not seriously injured but was taken to the hospital for treatment. I-75 was closed for three hours after the incident.