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Snow, Ice Leave Dozens of Vehicles Snared in Ohio Highway Pileups

Accidents left one dead, at least 20 people injured

Semi-trucks and other vehicles involved in a mulit-car crash are strewn across westbound Interstate 275 between Colerain Avenue and Hamilton Avenue on Monday in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Cincinatti Enquirer, Cara Owsley)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) - Blowing snow and slick roadways in various parts of the state on Monday set off multiple highway pileups, including one outside Cincinnati involving at least 86 vehicles that left a 12-year-old girl dead.

The crash on Interstate 275 near the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township was one of at least four pileups that snared dozens of vehicles. Officers were called to the scene shortly after 11:30 a.m. and discovered multiple chain-reaction collisions.

The 12-year-old girl had gotten out of a damaged vehicle and was standing in the median near a cable barrier, a type of fencing made of rope-like steel wire cables, the Hamilton County sheriff's office said. Another vehicle hit the barrier, snapping a cable, which then struck the girl and killed her, office spokesman Jim Knapp said.

At least 20 people were taken to hospitals, though their injuries were not expected to be life-threatening, the office said.

The interstate was shut down for hours with wreckage strewn across it, authorities said.

"It was just chaos, absolute chaos," Hamilton County sheriff's office Lt. Tory Smith told The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The sheriff's office said the crash remained under investigation, but it noted that inclement weather was a factor. Snow had been accumulating on the roadway, and there were reports of ice. Visibility was poor.

Parts of the state saw scattered snow showers on Monday, with isolated pockets of heavier snowfall.

As many as 50 vehicles were in a pileup on I-75, between Middletown and Monroe, in southwest Ohio. A dispatcher with the State Highway Patrol said minor injuries were reported in the accident, which occurred just before noon.

State Highway Patrol Sgt. James Russell told The Middleton Journal that snow falling at the time of the pileup caused "white-out conditions" and possibly triggered the first drivers to lose control and start the crash.

Witness Luke Stevens, of Van Wert, told the newspaper he was in a vehicle at the front of the pileup.

"It was complete ice all over the highway," he said.

Four semitrailers and about 20 cars were involved in an afternoon pileup on I-71 near Mansfield, the state patrol said. And lanes of I-270 were closed temporarily following a multi-vehicle crash near Columbus.

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Juda Farmer

When are we going to do something about all this senseless death from automobiles?!! All this talk of gun control, when 3 times as many victims die from Car accidents!! And here is this poor 12yo child, stripped of her life by a senseless need to travel in comfort and quickness.

Tragic!! Stop Car Violence NOW!!

January 22 2013 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Juda Farmer's comment

That's right. We should immediately ban all vehicles with high capacity gas tanks and semi-automatic transmissions. Send your suggestion in to Obama.

January 23 2013 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We should ban cars. They kill people!

January 22 2013 at 4:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steven's comment
hello tracy

I agree people dont do nothing but speed and never watch the road ahead lol

January 22 2013 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

There were two serious pile ups in Ohio that happened at nearly the same time. The local news reported white out conditions. A driver in one accident was quoted as saying that visibility was fine one moment and zero the next. And to the people blaming the road crews, the temperature was so low on that day that the salt would not be effective.

January 22 2013 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cdcchawkins's comment

That's bullshit and you know it! ODT employees always want to get paid for either doing a half assed job or they just dont do their job outright. Oh, and btw, they dont use just salt, its a salt/chemical mix so save that argument for someone dumb enough to buy it.

January 22 2013 at 2:08 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Juda Farmer

As you see from your replies, someone has to be to blame. Not the drivers in white out conditions or the cars or the snow. Gotta blame something, that can pay. Stupidity for driving in these conditions, is hardly a good place to lay blame.

January 22 2013 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nobody wants to slow down and respect life for what it is…. no matter how many warning signs there are as a society we are getting good at ignoring the obvious. It's not like these people haven't driven in winter weather before.

January 22 2013 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looking at the pictures, it does not look like snow and Ice had anything to do with it... Maybe just bad drivers... I live in snow country and that looks like morning frost to me...

January 22 2013 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to James's comment

Colrain township and College Hill are communities that boarder each other , I live in College Hill 3 miles from ground zero , it was Sunny at 11:30 AM yesterday morning and all day , no snow or ice on the ground , it baffels me how in the hell a pocket of blizzard like snow and ice ended up hitting that small area and nowhere else , it's like someone had an ice machine throwing ice in a 1 mile radius , truly a freak of nature or someone's curse !!!

January 22 2013 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It takes time to call the crews out. Remember they have to drive to work on untreated roads. They warm up the trucks and begin traveling to their route so it may take a long time before an entire highway is treated. The solution ? Simple, take you foot off the gas drive and slowly or get off the road until a sand/ice treatment/plow truck goes past then don't get too close but stay behind him.

January 22 2013 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 22 2013 at 11:37 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to larryhume55's comment

Cincinnati road crews do a fine job. And 275 is always clear and safe as fast as humanely possible. While these accidents are tragedy's the people to blame are probably the ones that were still driving 75/80 mph not the road crews.

January 22 2013 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bruce Kallenbach

We had the same thing back in the Twin Cities,MN., before I got out of that area finally on December 18, 19 last year and live down here in Phoenix now! We had over 700 crashes, spin-outs, jack nifed trucks, flipped over vehicles on the main highways alone a week before that not counting the city, county streets and roads in 38 hours.

January 22 2013 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it does not surprise me about wrecks on 275 outside Cincy.....a few years ago, my hubby and i were going back home to illinois from Tennessee, and as soon as we crossed the Ohio River on 275 the road went immediately to ice!! we had to crawl along,,,,and we stopped counting vehicles in ditch after 50!! was a white knuckle trip all the way!

January 22 2013 at 11:29 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Used to live just a couple miles from where it happened, glad I moved.

January 22 2013 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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