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

Read the Erie Co. Sheriff's website.

Stop It

No. I'll go by state guidelines. State trumps county.

kURTje

Since the turnpikes were based on the Autobahn, so too should rigid Autobahn Laws apply to the turnpike. Careless, inattentive & lazy drivers cause accidents for others.

Lawyerintraining

@informed..... Let me INFORM YOU OF THE RULES... Better yet I'll let you look them up and R E A D...I T...S L O W...S O...Y O U....U N D E R S T A N D...T H E M!!!!! http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov OH!! The call a lawyer yea NOT!!!! Way to many loop holes in the Level 3 YES.. Years ago an employer had to listen but when they started loosing work time they threw a fit and it is now totally up the your place of employment..if they are open and say you have to work then give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be safely...BOTTOM LINE

Informed

Go to the Erie Co. Sheriff's website.

Stop It

No. I'll go by state state guidelines. State trumps county.

downthemiddle

I am from Alaska... working on the Davis Besse repair. I was pulled over today and was told sternly that it was "Level 3"... I said OK... how many more levels have ya got?

The officer was not amused.

The numbering system is backwards..... FIX IT !!!

Nemesis

I was leaving Big Bear in CA during a snowstorm, and everyone was pulling over and putting chains on. I didn't have any. If a CHP had stopped me and asked me where my chains were, I'd point to where it said OHIO on my license and say that's my chains. The conditions were maybe 5th percentile of my daily winter commute.

Informed can't even conceive trusting one's own judgement over that of our enlightened government masters.

jager5

For the "know it alls", if your place of employment is governed by the government you are exempt and are required to report to work. The employer will pay fines if you are ticketed, but it is still a person choice where safety is a concern. But no one has the right to beat down someone who reported to work before the conditions turned, and I can promise you that I don't like my job enough to stay there and not be with my family.

thirtysomething

Norwalk Reflector just did an article about this last month. Please read... This is the article's title "Sheriff's spokesman: Driving under Level 3 is between you and your boss" (Search it) I realize this is from the Huron co. Sheriff, but I'm guessing surrounding counties treat level 3's pretty much the same way.

Informed

Nope, read Erie Co. Sheriff's website.

Bellevue44811

Since you are so good at replying to everyone's posts, why don't you just post what the Erie Co. Sheriff's website says.

ladydye_5

You do realize that the Sheriff only controls the COUNTY. That would be the roads in HIS/HER county. State, county, township, municipal roads in their county. Interstate and the Turnpike are NOT included. They have NO control over those. They cannot keep you off of those. You can also BE fired for not showing up to work. Ohio is an AT WILL employment state. You can be FIRED for ANY reason.

http://www.weathersafety.ohio.go...
notice level 3 say to contact your employer (you keep saying that is for level 2)

Stop It

No. I'll go by state state guidelines. State trumps county.

KnuckleDragger

Erie treats it the same way as Huron Co. does. They will only give warnings, no tickets have been issued for driving under a level 3 in Erie Co. This from an Erie Co. deputy. You can read the website til your eyes pop out of your head, it doesn't change the facts.

Truth or Dare

Mother Nature's vengeance isn't anything to scoff at, as she'll chew you up and spit you out!

Thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their loved one's on our highways today, as well with Trooper Clouser and his family.

Hometown 44811

While everyone is aware this accident happened on the turnpike, no one has mentioned that the turnpike is exempt from Level 3.

Informed

True, but people have to travel other roads to get to the turnpike, and I can guarantee you that not all of those people got to it in areas that were not Level 3.

Nemesis

There are, at most, 2 turnpike interchanges, out of more than a dozen, that are in the level 3 areas.

I guess you slept through geography class.

Amythe K

People! Stay off the turnpike in bad weather! Its the worst! A big thank you to those super troopers out at the Milan post..they are a bunch of great guys n girls who work hard keeping us safe everyday.

worddrow811

Perhaps we need to return to the boy scout theory of being prepared. We know it's winter, one might get stranded or stuck somewhere and have food and water, blankets and extra clothes in the vehicles. Oh wait, that would require common sense. Prayers to the families of those who died today, three deaths in a level three.

Informed

Don't tell some people that. They equate being prepared and safety-conscious as being a wuss.

m-ville123

Here's what it says on the Erie county website 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. NO ONE SHOULD BE ON THE ROADWAY UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO TRAVEL. Which would include WORK for those people who cant afford to miss days. The world should not and does not stand still when it snows around here.

.

m-ville123

I am purely only talking about driving during a level 3 for work purposes. Not for driving to get movies or beer and pretzels. Of course in some cases needing beer can be considered a emergency.

Nemesis

No, but you see being prepared, self-reliant, and capable as criminal.

paco69

I just hope that there are no more fatalities and that everyone stuck out here is doing alright.

Gardenman

I don't think most people who are out on the road are there joy riding...maybe some but not the vast majority. I had a job where it was early to be called due to weather and I could stay home with pay. That I know was not the case for many people. For many its work or lose pay and they have to do what they do. For them I always hope they make it there safely and back home without injury.

WaterStreetCooncat

What about radio/tv station employees? U.S Mail? Will a government Post Office vehicle be pulled over for delivering mail? How about newspaper employees? Gas station employees (police cars need to gas up!) What about the City employee who just got off work from salting/plowing the roads? They are not emergency personel.

Stop It

Informed says OBEY ECSO!! Informed needs to find new thoughts.

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