Two die in three-vehicle crash on I-75

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Two men were killed early Sunday morning in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate-75 south of the Crittenden exit.
Robert Roaden, 33, of Williamstown and Jerry Martin, 89, of Centerville, Ohio died at the scene.

Police said the wreck occurred when Roaden’s vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, traveling several hundred feet before it came back on the road and then overturned multiple times.

Roaden was thrown from the wreckage. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Martin’s Ford Ranger pickup crashed into Roaden’s vehicle and was then struck by a tractor trailer driven by James Rider, 70, of Batesville, Ind.

Rider was not injured in the crash.

Martin, according to relatives, had left his home around 4 a.m. en route to Florida, was wearing a seatbelt.

Both Roaden and Martin’s vehicle were knocked off the roadway and engulfed in flames.

“We believe that Mr. Martin died as a result of the accident as opposed to being burned to death by the fire,” said Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills.

Roaden and Martin were pronounced dead at the scene by Grant County Deputy Coroner Lamar Fowler.

I-75 was closed for two hours while deputies investigated.

Dills said toxicology and autopsy results for Roaden were pending to determine if a medical condition caused him to wreck.

Dills said Rider was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital Grant County where he was tested for alcohol.

“This is mandatory in situations like this. We were simply following procedure, but there’s no indication that any alcohol was involved,” Dills said.

Deputy Andy Reeves is continuing the investigation.

The Crittenden and Dry Ridge Fire Departments assisted.

Roaden was a production operator for Sterling Optics in Williamstown. He was a member of Pleasant View Baptist Church and a Green Bay Packers fan.

Visitation was held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 with funeral services at 11 a.m. on Nov. 18 at Elliston-Stanley Funeral Home in Williamstown. Burial will be in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.