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.

Comments

Informed

And many are not.

Darkhorse

If people don't have enough sense to lay low with weather the way it is, then the State Highway Patrol should shut the roadways down.

phroggy

I was coming home from work at 5 o' clock well aware there was a level 3. I have a very capable 4 wheel drive truck and as always, drove cautiously to get where I was going. Two idiots in Honda Accords or similar were stuck in the snow right in the middle of the road across from Sawmill Creek. Are you kidding me? No, I refuse to help dig you out. You had NO business driving anywhere in a vehicle like that.

Nemesis

I always kept a tow strap in my truck when I had a truck, and was happy to pull people out.

Afterward some offered me money, others drove off without so much as a thank you. I always contented myself in the knowledge I had done a good deed.

beepx22

@informed yes your company can make you report to work in a level 3

Informed

No they cannot. A company or boss cannot overrule the Sheriff's Dept.

beepx22

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 All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work.

All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work.

All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work.

m-ville123

Haha he still wont understand.

O Really

Informed must be an attorney. He knows everything!!!!!

Spy's picture
Spy

I don't understand why he is so committed to spreading misinformation. I personally think employers shouldn't require employees to report to work at a Level 3. I am sure he supports that as well. But as the law stands, that just isn't the case.

phroggy

Employers forcing their employees to travel in unsafe conditions can be subject to a lawsuit if the employee being forced were to injure or be injured en route to their job. Generally, employers who have a mild case of morals and at least half a brain that isn't focused on the almighty dollar will agree and just let you stay home.

Dr. Information

@O Really. No, even an attorney would know when to stop. Informed is just a babbling fool.

KnuckleDragger

No, just a bored stay at home mommy who knows not the working world.

Informed

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

MyThoughts

Some peoples comments are so ignorant. It's frustrating to read them sometimes. While I agree, there are plenty of people on roadways that do not need to be what about those caught up in it? I left work before it was a level 3.... headed home, and it was upgraded to level 3 while I was on the road. So what - pull off the road and wait it out? Right. Believe me driving in a whiteout is no fun, quite scary actually. Unfortunately we can't cancel "work" every time there is a winter weather system coming. This winter we would have been home half the winter. So while I agree, some do not stay home when they need to, there's always some - most of us likely would have preferred to NOT have been on the roadways at 1:30 or 2 this afternoon when it was a complete whiteout!

Many thoughts and prayers to the families affected by the accident today on the turnpike as well as the many other people who are still stranded out there. Offer positive thoughts for those affected by this today and less about throwing stones at those who were out driving because it was a "level 3"

Informed

I am not saying to cancel work every time there is a storm. There have been two Level 3's here this winter. Most winters there aren't any. We aren't talking about a frequent occurrence.

MyThoughts

Perhaps Erie Co only went to a level 3 twice. Or wherever you're from.... however several surrounding counties have been at a level 3 more than twice. Don't get me wrong, I agree with the fact people need to stay off the roadways, but you can't assume that just because there is a level 3 declared nobody has to be on a road. Like I said, I was midway home when the they went to level 3 today, what do the people do who are out in it? Simply stated some people have to get from point A to point B.

I think Lucas County has really gotten it right this winter in declaring level 3 status earlier in several cases. This prevents people from leaving in the first place. I wish more counties would follow suit and in turn help keep people off the roads allowing the emergency vehicles and personnel to do their jobs more effectively.

Informed

Well since this is the Sandusky Register site and Sandusky is in Erie County, yes I am referring to Erie County. I don't think Huron, Ottawa, or Sandusky counties have had more than two or three Level 3's.

m-ville123

Huron county has had 4 level 3's so far.

Dr. Information

Informed, wrong again.

KnuckleDragger

MISinformed

worddrow811

You may also want to check your insurance/towing policy if you don't have triple a. They won't necessarily pay for a tow truck if you are violating the level three conditions and if you have a crash, well, just check before you need it.

foundmyway

As a former OTR truck driver, I know first hand that no one is forced to work in a snow emergency. If an employer is penalizing his or her employees for not coming in to work, and the job this employer represents is not qualified as an emergency service, THAT employer is breaking the law. Many people can be coerced into doing what they know they should not be doing. Instead of going to work fearing my boss, I have learned to fear the weather more. No job is worth dying over (unless in service to this country!)

Informed

Exactly! But people try to justify and rationalize their actions.

Nemesis

found, cite the statute.

foundmyway

Informed seems reasonable.

Nemesis

Informed simply can't conceive of the government ever being wrong.

atroublemaker

Level 3 is not an absolute ban or marshal law & would probably be found unconstitutional if challenged.
People do have the right to go to work, you would know this if you if you saw an area sheriff make this statement on the local news.
The method of announcing the weather level advisories is so poor & people traveling through the affected areas have very little chance of knowing the area is under an advisory.

Get a clue people!

slightthroat212

some of these drivers are not residents of this county or near by counties, they are out of state drivers just passing through. They may not understand "level 3" driving conditions, but do understand bad weather driving. They do understand that they have a job to do and just wanted to get it done. Bad weather has no master and ofter takes even the best of drivers. Collisons such as these are terrible. They take lives and just keep going such as these did. Ice, white outs and other such terrible monsters within storms take no prisoners, they just take lives and with no consideration for anyone. Worrying about levels is the least of ones problems in cases such as this. My prayers go out to those who lost loved ones in these cases and to the injured....my prayers for your safe recoveries.

Stop It

"Under a 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 or a personal emergency exisits. Contact your employer to determine if you should report to work. Those operating vehicles on the roadway for non-emergency reasons may be subject to arrest."

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