July 30, 2014

Elyria
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No one hurt in spectacular rollover

AMHERST — About 700 new phone books stuffed into a Ford Explorer were enough to help unbalance an SUV flip several times while traveling down state Route 2 about 4 p.m. Tuesday but not enough to seriously injure the driver.

CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
This SUV, unbalanced due to a heavy load of phone directories rolled over in state Route 2.

Richard Barnette Jr., 42, of Lorain, was heading eastbound near the Middle Ridge Road exit when the SUV lost contact with the pavement and began rolling over.  

The SUV came to rest in the median, said Trooper Shawn Kline of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Though the vehicle came to a rest on its roof, Barnette was able to walk away with only minor scrapes and refused medical treatment, Kline said.

Battered phone books poured out the crushed windows and doors of the SUV.

Barnette had been on his way to work at a company that distributes the volumes, according to Kline.

The sheer weight of those books had unbalanced the Explorer, Kline said.

“That’s one reason we think he was able to roll so easily,” Kline said.

Barnette was charged with failure to control. He was wearing a seat belt, Kline said.

Traffic was backed up for about 2 miles, but Kline said it was only necessary to close a single eastbound lane for only a few minutes.

Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.