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Motorist dies after collapsing on I-70 in Guernsey County

Rick Stillion
The Daily Jeffersonian
Ohio State Highway Patrol

A central Ohio man who called his wife early Monday morning to tell her he was ill and on his way home, never completed his journey.

Paul D. Wetzel, 47, of Cable, collapsed outside his pickup truck on Interstate 70 in Guernsey County and was later pronounced dead at Southeastern Med despite efforts by a passerby to perform CPR.

An autopsy was ordered by Guernsey County Coroner Dr. Sandra Schubert.

"Given his age and no history of health problems, an autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death," said Schubert.

The coroner said there was no evidence of foul play.

"He had called his wife at approximately 5 a.m. and advised her he was not feeling well and was on his way home," Schubert said of Wetzel's final hours.

Wetzel reportedly told his wife he was suffering chest pains and was short of breath. He was believed to be returning home from the Belmont County area.

According to a dispatch log at the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office, a passerby called 911 at 8:49 a.m. to report a man, later identified as Wetzel, was lying beside a Ford F-150 stopped on the berm of I-70 near mile post 182.

A female passerby stopped and started CPR until emergency responders from United Ambulance and the Cambridge Fire Department arrived.

A sergeant with the State Highway Patrol's Cambridge post said Wetzel had stopped the work truck he was driving while traveling on I-70 and exited the vehicle on his own. He then collapsed beside the truck.

Wetzel was transported by United Ambulance to Southeastern Med where he was later pronounced dead in the emergency department.