Cleveland Police Department has identified a 20-year-old Dayton man, Gerardo Benjamin Portillo Vasquez, as the person killed in a fiery three-vehicle crash Saturday morning, Jan. 1, on the SH 105 Bypass in Cleveland.
Vasquez was driving a Toyota passenger vehicle westbound on the bypass when he veered into oncoming traffic. His vehicle struck an eastbound 18-wheeler carrying hazardous chemicals and then an eastbound passenger car.
Vasquez was trapped in the wreckage when his vehicle burst into flames. The two other drivers suffered only minor injuries, according to police.
The incident prompted an all-day closure of the bypass due to the extremely volatile and dangerous nature of the chemicals the 18-wheeler was hauling. Hazmat crews transferred the dangerous load to another tanker prior to removing the truck’s severely damaged trailer.
“Mr. Vasquez’s next of kin has been notified and Cleveland Police Department extends its heartfelt condolences to the family for the loss of their loved one in this tragic accident,” said Sgt. David Edwards, who is investigating the accident with Officer Rodriguez.
Cleveland Fire Department assisted at the scene. Pct. 6 Justice of the Peace Ralph Fuller conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy.