PIQUA — The driver of a mulch truck that overturned in Piqua on Monday afternoon is facing several charges, including OVI — operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
The incident occurred at 2:35 p.m. Monday, when a semi tractor and trailer driven by Kenny Gibbs, of Arcanum, overturned on East Ash Street (U.S. Route 36), losing the pallets of mulch it was hauling and closing one lane of East Ash Street for hours.
According to Gibbs’ statement to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, he was stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green, he proceeded to make the turn toward southbound I-75 when his trailer overturned. The tractor, although torqued with its driver’s side rear wheels off the ground, remained upright. The load on the trailer — 7,600 pounds of bagged mulch — remained mostly intact.
Piqua Fire Department medics were called to the scene to examine Gibbs. After complaining of chest pains, he was transported to Upper Valley Medical Center, where he was treated and released, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Gibbs’ female passenger refused medical treatment at the scene.
Straps securing the mulch pallets to the trailer were cut, allowing the bags to fall to the pavement, where they were hand-loaded back onto the pallets to be transported to a point to be reloaded for travel to their destination.
Workers from the Ohio Department of Transportation and Saunders Towing provided manpower to move the mulch.
The semi tractor, once the trailer was righted, appeared to be drivable.
The right lane of East Ash Street was closed until 6:15 p.m. while the crash was investigated and the bags of mulch cleared from the scene.
Trooper Ray of the Piqua Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that Gibbs refused most of the field sobriety requests at the scene before he was transported to the hospital. He then reportedly refused to submit to a blood test while at the hospital.
In addition to the OVI charge, Gibbs was charged with failure to control and DUS (driving under suspension). He was not incarcerated.