Accidents shut down Ohio Turnpike

JOHN SEEWER Associated Press Published:

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A flurry of crashes on the snow-covered Ohio Turnpike blocked the toll road in both directions Wednesday afternoon, midway between Toledo and Cleveland.

A state trooper investigating one accident suffered serious injuries when another driver slid into him and pinned the trooper between two vehicles, said Staff Lt. Anne Ralston, a spokeswoman with the State Highway Patrol.

Accidents involving several tractor-trailers were reported about 10 miles apart in both the westbound and eastbound lanes just south of Sandusky.

Another crash involving an overturned truck was blocking the road's westbound lanes in Lorain County, said Adam Greenslade, a spokesman for the turnpike.

Heavy snow and stiff winds contributed to tough driving conditions throughout the day.

The accidents in Erie and Sandusky counties left behind big backups, and turnpike officials decided against diverting stuck drivers onto adjacent routes because both of those counties had ordered non-emergency drivers to say off the roads, Greenslade said.

Turnpike workers were having a difficult time getting to those areas because of the road conditions and the traffic backups, he said.

About a dozen counties across the top edge of the state from the Indiana state line to Sandusky told residents not to drive at times during the day.