CINCINNATI (Reuters) – A 12-year-old girl was killed on Monday and dozens of people injured in a 76-vehicle pileup on an icy Ohio highway, one of three major crashes that clogged roadways across the state, authorities said.
Dangerously cold temperatures blanketed central Ohio and subzero wind chills forced dozens of area school districts to close or delay the start of classes.
High temperatures today are not expected to get above 15-degrees, and feel even colder with the slightest breeze.
Three people were hurt yesterday in a 30-vehicle wreck on I-270 near State Route 161 on the Northeast Side of Columbus.
Sixty cars and 16 tractor trailers slammed into one another on Interstate 275 near Cincinnati just after 11:35 a.m., Hamilton County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Knapp said.
“Eighteen years on patrol, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
At least 20 people were transported to local hospitals with undetermined injuries, said Colerain Township Fire Captain Darian Edwards, who described “dozens of walking wounded” being tended to at the crash site.
Authorities had originally identified the crash victim as a woman, but Colerain Township Police Chief Daniel P. Meloy confirmed that she was a 12-year-old girl. Authorities believe the girl, whose name was not released, had exited her car to investigate an initial crash and may have been struck by another car, Knapp said.
On Interstate 75, 50 cars collided, causing an undetermined number of injuries but no reports of fatalities, said Ohio State Police Lieutenant Steve Mahl. The crash took place in an area between Middletown and Monroe, in the southwestern part of the state
A third crash near Mansfield, in the north-central part of the state, caused a 13-car pileup on U.S. Highway 71, Mahl said, adding that only minor injuries had been reported in that crash.
All across Ohio on Monday, drivers have been contending with ice, periods of whiteout, and snow-covered and slippery roadways, said Mahl. “It’s typical winter weather out here.”