MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - The
is investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash that occurred on Interstate 71 northbound near milepost 234, by the Pearl Road exit around 10 a.m. Thursday.
OSHP says Sandra Maddamma, 50, of Cleveland, was traveling northbound on I-71 in a Nissan Cube when she slowed for slow-moving traffic in the left lane. At the same time, Richard Radigan, 62, of North Ridgeville, was also northbound in the left lane driving a Penske freightliner tractor, pulling a Great Dane enclosed box trailer. Adam Yonkovski, 29, of Ashland, was northbound in the middle lane, ahead and to the right of Maddamma in a Chevrolet Cruze.
The OSHP's scene investigation revealed that Radigan's tractor-trailer combination failed to stop within an assured clear distance and struck Maddamma's Cube from behind. The impact pushed the Cube into Yonkovski's Cruze.
Both of those vehicles remained on the roadway, but after initial impact, Radigan's tractor-trailer traveled into the median, through a guardrail and came to rest on its wheels, parallel to the roadway, according to OSHP.
Maddamma's Cube sustained heavy rear-end damage. Although Maddamma was wearing a seat belt, she was transported to Southwest General Hospital, and later died from her injuries.
Yonkovski's Cruze sustained disabling damage to the left rear, but he was not injured.
Radigan's commercial vehicle received heavy damage to the front bumper and grille area, but he was also uninjured.
OSHP is still investigating why Radigan struck Maddamma's vehicle, along with the events leading up to her death. Officials say icy roads may have been a factor.
The affected section of I-71 was temporarily closed and traffic was diverted onto Pearl Road for approximately 90 minutes, before the right lanes of the interstate reopened. The left lane remained closed through the early afternoon hours, as crews worked to process and clear the scene.