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.



Why do some drivers think that this means they are the exception?


Sometimes work requires people to drive during L3. I don't think people think they are the exception.


No work cannot order you to break the law.


I'll pay the fine.


It's not a fine, it's subject to arrest.
Did any of you stop to think about this--you get in an accident during a Level 3 and you are found to be at fault and someone was seriously hurt. Guess what? You are probably not only going to get majorly sued and lose, you are probably also going to prison.


I have been at work since before 6 am., before the level 3 was imposed. Am I supposed to stay here because I am not allowed on the road? Well, they can arrest me. I am going home.


If you hit a car on the roadway, you're BOTH breaking the law. Doesn't matter whose fault, if either vehicle had listened to the Sheriff, neither would be crashed!


One person breaking the law doesn't excuse the fault of the other person doing so. A drunk driver doesn't get off because the person he hit was speeding.


I didn't say get off. But being sued and prison time seems excessive don't you think?


No. It happens all the time to people who don't do anything wring except make a mistake while driving. Look at the recent case that was in the paper regarding the guy being charged.


Name one person who had been arrested for traveling in a level 3? I work in public safety and I can tell you the cops I know have been advised not to give citations for being out in a level 3. The only time you may be cited is if you cause an accident. Look it up nobody in Ohio has ever done jail time for this. Any way people are not going to risk losing their jobs by staying home. Some employers are jerks and that's just life.


Lots of employers will dock employees for not showing up even in a Level 3. There's no requirement that employers must let their employees stay home and who would pay for the wages anyway. OTR truckers aren't always aware of individual counties or cities that have a "level 3" status, too. The fact that the "work day" started out as a level 2 is important, as well. People already went to work and got stuck away from home when the Level 3's were announced. There just isn't an easy answer here.

Hometown 44811

The Ohio Turnpike is the exception! Level 3 does NOT apply to the Ohio Turnpike. So for all the OTR drivers and travelers that were just trying to get across the state, they were NOT breaking any laws.


Because some of us ARE exceptional.
The pope for example.
Lottery ticket consumers for another.

Simple Enough II

Because I needed to come to work. 20-25 MPH pretty much the whole way in ( its a given that my relief wont come in, I hope it doesn't turn into a double shift). I would like to thank the folks who didn't think they neededto turn their lights on........


This was preventable, if not completely, then to a degree. Driver training is deficient. No one "deserves" to experience such a catastrophe, but there can be no question that most of the vehicles involved were traveling too fast for the conditions and in violation of ORC 4511.21

"...No person shall operate a motor a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead."

If you couldn't see what you hit until it was too late to stop, you were driving too fast and breaking the law. Period.

Clearly, too many drivers don't understand this crucial safety principle.

ALL drivers should be required to re-test periodically. That would also solve the problem is removing no-longer-competent elderly drivers, without age discrimination.


Bingo! It's possible to drive safely in these conditions. Unfortunately, in this country we effectively give out licenses as prizes in boxes of Cracker Jack.


No,you didn't HAVE to go to work. Your employer cannot order you to break the law. People like you think that is an excuse. It isn't. You are supposed to stay off the roads. Period. Then what is the point of having a Level 3.


Some people have to go to work or they get in trouble or fired. Plain and simple. What about hospitals? Are doctors and nurses not supposed to come to work?


Doctors and nurses at hospitals are considered emergency personnel and are allowed on the roads. For others, your boss can neither fire you nor discipline you for not coming in during a Level 3. Plain and simple. Follow the LAW!!


Good luck telling that to the railroad. Some employers think it is essential to have workers come to work... "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."


It's simple--you say I am not breaking the LAW to come in. I will be there when the Level 3 is lifted. If you give me a hard time about it, I am contacting a lawyer. End of discussion.

Spy's picture

You obviously don't live in reality then. Employers can fire you for not coming to work during a Level 3 and there is no law preventing them from doing so. In fact, for the description of a level 3, it says "contact your employer" before coming to work.


Yes there is and no they cannot fire you.

Spy's picture

Did you grow up in an area without snow? That's the way it always has been in Ohio.


Ohio is an "at will" state. They have had attorneys on during the other storms. YES employers can fire you for ANY reason...snow and level 3's included. You can try and sue for your job back, but she said no one has ever really tried or won a case.


Yepper! You're right!


Well, if know one has ever tried, how would they have won?
Any reason doesn't include violating the sheriff's request.


This is true.


Nope, that is for a Level 2.