Airport Highway back open after semi hits home

SWANTON, Ohio (WTVG) - Airport Highway has been reopened Wednesday morning after a semi struck a home Tuesday.

Kathy Heisinger says she's blessed by the fact that she and her family weren't around when that semi crashed into her rental home.

"I'm so grateful that we were not there," Heisinger said. "I'm just totally shocked. I'm just totally shocked."

Troopers say an SUV, driven by Kenneth Russel, 34, was heading westbound Tuesday afternoon on Airport Highway between County Roads 3 and 4 in Swan Creek Township when it went left of center into the direction of the semi. The trucker, Richard Armbuster, 56, was hauling 80,000 pounds of rolled steel when he swerved off the road, clipped Russel’s vehicle and then slid into Heisinger's home.

"He threaded a telephone pole and a tree," Sergeant Evan Slates with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. "I mean, he did some good driving, but he still struck a house."

Heisinger says she and her grandkids left about an hour before the wreck. Her dog Buddy, however, was inside but made it out without a scratch.

"He was just staring at me like he wasn't sure what in the world just happened," Heisinger said of letting the dog out of its cage. "[The crash] probably shook the whole house, and I'm sure it was loud."

First responders say both Russel and Armbuster were taken to nearby hospitals with only minor injuries. Airport Highway was closed for hours as clean up crews worked to free the semi from Heisinger's home.

"[The semi] took out one of the basement corners," Swanton Fire Chief Michael Wolever said. "So the foundation and stuff has gotta' be fixed."

Despite a torn up yard, a missing front porch and other damage, Heisinger says she's thankful no one was hurt after a wreck that could have been a lot worse.

"It's just stuff. It's replaceable," Heisinger said. "So I'm just grateful."

Heisinger and her family are staying with loved ones until they figure out if they can even continue to live in their home.

Troopers say no citations were issued as of 10:00 Tuesday night, and alcohol is not a factor in the crash.