Trooper cited in I-75 crash

PIQUA Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Anik Lepage was involved in a vehicle crash precipitated by a Sidney man on Interstate 75 northbound in Miami County early Tuesday morning.

Ryan Blindauer, 33, of Sidney, was northbound on I-75 when he abruptly made an illegal turn into the paved crossover near the 79 milepost. Driving the vehicle behind him, Priti Gaonkar, 33, of Troy, slammed on her brakes to avoid crashing into Blindauer. Trooper Lepage, traveling in the lane behind her, was unable to stop and struck Gaonkar in the rear.

Blindauer was issued a citation for failing to obey traffic control devices by turning in the crossover marked for emergency vehicles only. Trooper Lepage was issued a citation for failing to maintain assured clear distance. Both vehicles involved in the impact sustained disabling damage and needed towed from the scene.

Speed was not a factor in this crash, and the only injury was to Lepage who sought medical attention a few hours later and was subsequently released. She has since returned to duty.