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Three dead, trooper injured in Ohio Turnpike crash

Shawn Foucher • Mar 13, 2014 at 3:55 PM

UPDATED 9:00 p.m.

Release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol: The trooper that became pinned between vehicles during the multiple-vehicle crash on the Ohio Turnpike earlier today has been identified as Tpr. Andrew B. Clouser, 29, of the Milan Post. Tpr. Clouser has been with the Patrol since September 2012. He remains in stable, but serious condition and has been transferred to St. Vincent's Hospital in Toledo.

UPDATED: 6:30 p.m.:

Lt. Anne Ralston confirmed a third fatality in a two-mile long crash involving 50 vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike this afternoon.

Also, Ralston said a trooper severely injured during the crash works at the Milan post of the Patrol.

Troopers are not yet releasing names of victims, nor the injured trooper, Ralston said.

The Turnpike remains closed between Ohio 53 and 4, while the Ohio Turnpike Commission is encouraging motorists to avoid the area completely. 

Click HERE for a story and video from the Ohio Turnpike in Townsend Twp. 

Click HERE for more photos from the scene

UPDATED: 4:55 p.m.:

A crash involving more than 50 vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike killed at least two people and severely injured a trooper Wednesday around 1:30 p.m., according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The crash stretched for two miles, near mile marker 102, between County Road 268 and 278 in Sandusky County.

At 2:05 p.m., dispatchers learned a trooper had been pinned  between two vehicles while attending to the wreck, the Patrol said. 

He was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center for treatment. 

Officials are working to clear the Turnpike, but as of now it is closed in both directions and crews are rerouting traffic. 

UPDATED 4:30 p.m.:

The Ohio Turnpike is teeming with disabled and stopped vehicles, cars in ditches, crashes and general mayhem from this afternoon's treacherous weather. 

Law enforcers are also attending to a multi-vehicle, multi-injury wreck near the 102 mile marker on the Turnpike, officials said.  A trooper was injured and initial reports indicate at least one fatality.

Nonetheless, some area roads are starting to improve, said Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.

"We were real busy there for a bit. It was more sleet and rain, but that squall came in and 20 minutes later it was all snow," Sigsworth said. 

He said near-zero visibility and blizzard-like conditions around 2 p.m. likely caused many of the crashes.

"We got such a heavy volume of snow. Man, you couldn't see," Sigsworth said. 

As of about 4:15 p.m., Sigsworth said road conditions were beginning to improve along U.S. 250, allowing traffic to move at more than a crawl. 

All surrounding areas, however, are still at a Level 3. 

"We're going to stay at three because the visibility is still pretty bad. We can't anticipate at this time when we'll downgrade—it's going to depend on weather," Sigsworth said. 

Check back for Turnpike crash updates.

UPDATED 4 p.m.:

Ohio 2 in Ottawa County, between Ohio 163 and Ohio 53 is closed due to multiple accidents.

The City of Norwalk is under a parking ban. Parking on city streets is prohibited when snowfall exceeds or is expected to exceed 2 inches.

Cleveland Road between Sandusky and Huron has been partially closed until vehicles can be reached and removed.

UPDATED 3:20 p.m.: 

Cleveland Road is closed between Perkins Avenue and the Sandusky city limits. 

Multiple car pile-up on Turnpike in Sandusky County.

Stretches of Bogart Road are impassable and closed off.

Vehicles in ditches may have to wait until the roads clear up before tow trucks will be able to tow them.

UPDATED 2:45 p.m.:

The Ohio Turnpike from exit 91 to 110 are closed in both directions. Numerous semis traveling on the turnpike have jackknifed, forcing authorities to shut down the toll road.

Severe weather likely played a role in a fatal crash at about 2:30 p.m. on the Ohio Turnpike near mile marker 102 in an eastbound lane.

An Ohio State Highway Patrol cruiser was also involved in a crash. It's not known what injuries the trooper sustained.

Numerous accidents have been reported across the Northcoast region. All five counties in the Register's circulation area are at a Level 3, and motorists are urged to stay off the roads for any and all purposes.

Check back here for updates as they become available.

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