Authorities report that four people were killed and numerous more were injured in a 46-car pileup on the Ohio Turnpike on Friday as part of a terrifying winter storm that wreaked havoc on much of the United States to start the Christmas holiday.
The westbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County were the scene of a crash on Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Authorities claimed that “white-out conditions” were to blame for the accident, which left dozens of wrecked cars and trucks, including at least 15 commercial trucks, stacked up on the snowy road. Highway Patrol images show twisted 18-wheelers and miles of backed-up traffic, some of which is stopped in the middle.
In a video that was uploaded to Twitter late on Friday, Sgt. Ryan Purpura of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that four individuals had died and numerous more had been hurt in the collision. Authorities withheld the victims’ names and did not say how many people were hurt.
Purpura said in the video, “This is a sobering warning of what may happen when you go behind the wheel and try to drive in terrible weather circumstances.” “We kindly request that you avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must travel, we kindly ask that you use caution, drive slowly and patiently, buckle up, and increase your following distance.
Gov. Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio echoed warnings from authorities to stay off the roads.
In a statement, he expressed compassion to the families of those who had lost a loved one as a result of the catastrophic weather in Ohio. “If at all possible, please stay at home and exercise caution due to the highly hazardous driving conditions.” The National Weather Service has dubbed the winter storm that caused the tragic pileup in Ohio as “once in a generation,” and it is predicted to cut a 2,000-mile trail over much of the country through the Christmas holiday.
Many travelers who disobeyed advice to stay home and traveled despite the fact that more than 200 million Americans were under alerts for potentially hazardous weather in their area experienced flight cancellations, road closures, and shut down train and bus systems.
A 46-car pileup on the Ohio Turnpike killed four people and injured multiple others on Friday, according to authorities, as part of a fearsome winter storm that blasted extreme weather throughout much of the United States to start the Christmas weekend. https://t.co/DAiIzwM59X
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 24, 2022
Flight tracking website FlightAware reports that around 6,000 domestic flights in the United States were canceled on Friday. As of 10 a.m. Eastern time, approximately 1,800 American planes that were supposed to depart on Saturday have been canceled, according to FlightAware. Authorities in Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky reported that at least 13 people were killed in collisions on Friday as people took to the highways for holiday travel.
Officials in Ohio reported that the pileup’s initial collisions started at 11:45 a.m. on Friday and that an additional collision followed about 45 minutes later. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, buses were dispatched to transport victims of the collision to a facility where they could stay warm.
According to authorities, Ohio will see high winds and whiteout conditions through the weekend. As a result, the eastbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike near Sandusky were shut down early on Saturday. Nearly 12 hours after the initial collision, the turnpike’s westbound lanes were reopened late on Friday. Community members in Sandusky, Ohio, on the banks of Lake Erie, recalled how they hurried to provide warm food, drinks, and shelter to those stranded in the collision.
Lucas Messer, the superintendent of Clyde-Green Springs Schools, told ABC affiliate WEWS in Cleveland, “This is just kind of what we do.” This is a source of pride for our cities and communities, and anything we can do to lend a hand to those in need is pretty much how things are done around here.
When the winter weather forced him to modify his route, Robert Clark, who was coming from Detroit, told the TV station that he and his companion “had seconds to jump out of the automobile.”