Three dead, trooper injured in Ohio Turnpike crash

Ohio State Patrol spokeswoman confirms third death; injured Milan post trooper named.
Shawn Foucher
Mar 13, 2014

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.


Spy's picture

Nope, you are wrong. It does say that for a Level 3. Here are the definitions. Read them yourself.


JD's picture

Level 1 - Roadways are hazardous due to accumulated snow or ice. Drive cautiously.

Level 2 - Roadways are hazardous due to blowing and drifting snow and/or ice cover. Only those who believe it is necessary to drive should be on the roadways. Contact your employer to determine if you should report to work.

Level 3 - Roadways are closed to all non-emergency travel due to extremely hazardous conditions. No one should be on the roadway unless it is absolutely essential to travel. Those operating vehicles on the roadway for non-emergency reasons may be subject to arrest.

Straight from the sheriffs website

Spy's picture

The state is the one that controls what the definitions. All of the surrounding counties sheriff office websites also have "you should contact your employer" as a party of the Level 3 Emergency definition as well. It is interesting how that is omitted at the Erie County sheriff's website.

Dr. Information

Going to work is considered necessary for most people and I have yet to hear of one person getting arrested for being on the road. Keep being UNInformed.


What if you are the employer and you'd like to make sure customers are satisfied?


What of you're an employer who has a employee die on the way to work because you were too worried about losing money? No customer is worth someone's life. Someone lost theirs today on the turnpike, it's no joke. The roads are horrible.


Baby Moma - that's why some employers are required at work as the employees have the option to stay home. Obviously the safety of employees is a major concern.


Well i work in a hospital and the patients need staff to run hospital so i would say some work is necessary to get to.


As an example, here is what my husbands work says about it, in a level 3 you are to come to work. If you feel you can not make it to work, then you can take a vacation day, a sick day, a personal day, or get a point. We live 40 minutes from his work and he has to drive mostly back roads to get there. We are the kind of people that live paycheck to paycheck, so him missing a day of work is not the answer. He does not have a union either, and is at the bottom of the pole, so he doesn't really get a voice in the matter. We cannot afford a lawyer, if we went that route.


They most certainly can order you into work during the level three because there are no repercussions for the employer. You can be terminated for not showing up and have little if any recourse. As I said in a previous post, some employers are just jerks. Just consider yourself lucky you don't have my job where you have to make it in no matter what the weather.


I have always wondered why people are out driving in these bad conditions, especially under an emergency level. But PEOPLE WORK!! They have to get to their jobs. Employers make them come in because their work doesn't shut down just for snow/ice/ the railroad for example. Product and goods have to be moved. A day can really make a difference in a delivery. Many people are also driving through the area from out of town or out of state and might not realize we are under a level 3 warning. I had no idea what a level 1-3 warning was until I moved down here a few years ago. There is just no way to keep everyone off the roads, even in these awful conditions. We all just need to slow down and be aware of our surroundings.


Your employer cannot make people drive during a Level 3. And a delivery date is not more important than a person's life. People can go in once the Level 3 has been lifted. And ignorance of the law is no excuse. People are supposed to know the laws where they live.
Slowing down doesn't necessarily prevent all accidents.


This is a very good point. Michigan does not have this kind of warning system. I had never heard of it until I read about it in the SR earlier this season. Had I driven to Sandusky this winter and any level had been announced, I wouldn't have had a clue what that would mean for drivers. (I am smart enough to stay off of roads in bad weather, however!)


Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong but we've had the level system longer than just this year.

How many years I don't know but this year seems to be the FIRST year that counties are using the system and expecting people to abide. Even at that it was commented that nobody would be cited.


That brings up a point...why don't radio stations give their location any more instead of just their call letters and their station number? When someone is traveling and a weather alert comes over the radio how are you expected to know if it affects you if the station doesn't give it's location? This could be about weather alerts or traffic alerts or road closures.


How did you move DOWN here and not know what a level 3 was?


I didn't know what a level 3 was because other states do not have emergency levels for snow. That's how.


Agreed. I think it's a good idea, but it certainly isn't universal.


That's ok....I was born and raised here...15/20 years ago we didn't HAVE snow emergency levels at all. You went to work no questions asked.


They didn't even use them last year, did they?


They did, just never a level 3


Some people are trying to get home from work. When they left this morning it was clear out and only level 1 in some spots.


They need to remain at work until the Level 3 is lifted. Going home from work is even less excuse than trying to get to work.
People are full of excuses as to why LAWS don't pertain to them. Guess what? It doesn't matter.


Several weeks back there were posts about it being ok to go home. Sheriff comments that said they wouldn't ticket people just going home from work. It is bad because of the time of day that this weather hit. I pray for all those involved in the countless accidents.


So your saying to stay at work with no food or water, leave the kids at the babysitters and not to worry about letting the dog out and feeding him because its snowing. Informed you are a grade A WUSS.


The main purpose of this law is to keep people with no real agenda off the roads so that it makes roads safer for the people who have to drive on them. It says to contact your EMPLOYER to see if you have to come in to work.


Nope, try again. That is for a Level 2.

Spy's picture

Level 3: "All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest."

What defines breaking the law in a Level 3 is a gray area.


That's not what the Erie Co. Sheriff's website states.

Dr. Information

Informed, you just are wrong. Keep plugging your ears and screaming that you are right….we are not listening lol.

Work is considered a top priority and means to get on the road and under the law allows you to travel under a level 3. If you employer says come to work, you can drive. Call a lawyer and ask one. How do I know? Lets just say I know the law very very well.

Drive much slower, don't be on your phone or adjusting your hair or radio. Give plenty of distance and you will be ok.

If you feel you cannot make it in, just call your employer and tell them. Most will understand, but there are plenty of people that can make it to work just fine. Happens every year.