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Fiery US 24 crash claims one - UPDATE
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013 8:49 AM

ANTWERP – A fiery two-vehicle semi crash on U.S. 24 early Tuesday claimed the life of one man and injured another.

The highway remained closed several hours for cleanup. It reopened at about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the Van Wert Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, the crash occurred about 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29 in the westbound lanes of U.S. 24 between Milepost 3 and Ohio 49, west of Antwerp.

Czeslaw Szotek, age 53, of Mississauga, Ontario, driving a 2007 Volvo semi tractor-trailer, was parked on the side of the road about a foot into the roadway. A second driver, Andrew Nowacki, 53, of Kitchener, Ontario, was driving a 2006 Freightliner westbound in the right lane and struck the rear of the parked vehicle. The second semi came to rest in the left lane.

The impact caused the fuel tank of the Freightliner to rupture and both vehicles ignited.

Nowacki succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Szotek, who was standing outside his vehicle, was struck in the leg by flying debris and sustained minor injuries.

He has been cited for parking in the roadway.

Diesel fuel spilled, requiring cleanup.

Assisting troopers at the scene were Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Paulding County EMA, Antwerp EMS, the county coroner, EPA, Environmental Response Services and fire departments from Cecil/Crane, Antwerp and Woodburn.

The crash remains under investigation.