November 27, 2014

Elyria
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Van crashes into milk tanker

EATON TWP. – An 81-year-old Lakewood man was injured when his van crashed into the rear of a milk tanker truck that broke down on state Route 83 near Cooley Road.

Joseph Chapley was treated for minor injuries after his southbound Lumina van struck the truck at about 1:15 a.m. Monday, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

The truck driver, Chad Pulka, 39, of Grand Junction, Mich., told troopers that he broke down shortly before the accident. He was on his way to pick up a load of goat`s milk when his truck failed.

He said he saw that an axle was broken, but he did not know the lights on the back of his truck were no longer working. He told troopers he was inside the truck phoning for help when his truck was struck.

Chapley told troopers he was driving about 45 mph when he hit the truck.

Pulka was cited with failure to display safety equipment, a minor misdemeanor, patrol records show.

In a written statement, Pulka said he lost oil and wheel pressure and was not able to pull the truck off the road because of the deep ditches on either side.

Paul Kohl of Elyria, who was driving Chapley before the accident, said the dark milk truck appeared “out of nowhere.”

Kohl said he was in a pickup with his father and brother about 40 yards behind the red van, and they weren`t certain they`d be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.

Kohl, who called 911, said Chapley was bleeding from head injuries and had three dogs in the truck.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.