Driver charged with OVI for fiery Summit County crash that injured ODOT worker

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 2:34 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said the driver of a dump truck who was involved in a May 12 crash and explosion on I-77 will face criminal charges.

Following a months-long investigation, Gregory Pree was booked at the Summit County Jail on charges that include aggravated vehicular assault, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, and driving without a valid license.

According to court documents, Pree had cocaine and amphetamine in his system.

“This was one of the most horrific accidents involving an ODOT employee I’ve ever seen in my life,” said ODOT District 4 Deputy Director Gery Noirot.

Crash investigators said a 64-year-old Ohio Department of Transportation employee was parked on the side of the road for debris removal when Pree, the 51-year-old identified as the commercial dump truck driver, struck the state highway truck.

Gregory Pree, scene of explosion
Gregory Pree, scene of explosion(Ohio Department of Transportation/Summit County Jail)

The impact caused both vehicles to explode and go up in flames.

Both Pree and the ODOT employee were taken to area hospitals for treatment to their injuries after the crash.

“That gentleman that was driving the truck is on the mend,” Noirot said in October. “He’s not 100 percent but he’s healing. Someone was truly looking over him that day.”