ODOT construction zone turns deadly for couple riding motorcycle, who apparently ignored barrels and signs

3 accidents over 10 days in Akron highway construction zone has police warning motorists

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “My foreman tells it hit an excavator, and there’s a man and woman laying there,” a shocked 911 caller told Akron Police this week.

He was reporting the third crash in a construction zone where I-76 west and I-277 converge in Akron.

The latest crash on Aug. 12 was deadly. A man and woman -- Billy Hupp III, 41, of Akron, and Felicia Hammond, 32, of Coventry Township -- were killed in the crash.

Police don’t know how long their bodies had been laying on the roadway. A construction crew found their bodies as they arrived for work around 6:50 a.m. Monday.

Sgt. James Hentosz says ODOT has separated the bridge from the actual roadway and the state agency marked the area well because of the danger.

“There’s probably a 30-foot gap between the bridge and the roadway, and there’s nothing there. After that, there’s probably nice, soft dirt and that probably about 20 feet before you get to asphalt,” Hentosz said.

It was the third accident in 10 days in the construction zone.

Hentosz described the first crash:

“The first accident was on (Aug. 2nd). It was a motorcycle. It got southbound on the Kenmore leg. It got down to the construction area, and what we believe happened was once he crested the hill he saw that there was an excavator -- big yellow front-end loader -- and it spans the roadway. The rider jumped off the motorcycle, he slid underneath the machine, so did the motorcycle. The motorcycle then vaulted into the air and impaled itself onto three feet of rebar. The rider fell onto the I-beams. At this point, he’s still alive.”

Another crash happened on 5th Stteet when the driver of a Chevy truck struck that same excavator. He left his truck’s front bumper at the scene.

Akron Police are asking motorists not to ignore the orange barrels and the signs. They are safety measures put in place to keep the roadway safe for everyone.

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