(Photo courtesy of Jenna Howe)
(Photo courtesy of Jenna Howe)

Van Wert County – The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a three vehicle fatal crash that occurred on U.S. 30 west of Richey Road in Van Wert County.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. a 2018 International semi driven by David Knight, age 45, of Industry, Pennsylvania was traveling westbound on U.S. 30 and slowed for traffic in the construction zone.

A 2007 Toyota sedan driven by Bert Helsel, age 63, of Minster, Ohio was traveling westbound on U.S. 30 directly behind Knight’s semi and also began to slow for traffic.

The third vehicle, a 2017 Freightliner semi driven by Vasilevich Dzmitry, age 33, of Hallandale, Florida was traveling westbound directly behind Helsel’s vehicle. Dzmitry failed to maintain assured clear distance ahead striking Helsel’s vehicle in the rear. Helsel’s vehicle was then pushed into the rear of Knight’s vehicle.

Helsel sustained fatal injuries as a result of the traffic crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Van Wert County Coroner’s Office. Knight and Dzmitry were not injured in the traffic crash.

The Van Wert Post was assisted on scene by Convoy Fire and EMS, Van Wert Fire and EMS, Scott EMS, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, The Shelly Company, Hague Towing, Delpha Chevrolet, and Parker Towing and Recovery.

The westbound lanes of U.S. 30 were temporarily closed but have since been reopened.

The traffic crash remains under investigation.