Three people died in a traffic pileup on the Ohio Turnpike Wednesday and an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper was seriously injured. The severely injured trooper is 29-year-old Andrew Clouser. He hasMore >>
Three people died in a traffic pileup on the Ohio Turnpike Wednesday and an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper was seriously injured.More >>
FREMONT, OH (WOIO) -
The three people killed in a massive pileup on the turnpike Wednesday afternoon have been identified.
Hannah Matheny, 20, of Parma; Grzegorz Piwowarczyk, 42, of Palatine, Illinois; and Janice Robb, 66, of Schererville, Indiana were killed.
Matheny was a passenger in the car with her girlfriend Claire Arble, when she died. Through friends we're told although it was a white-out Claire was able to see an accident in front of them and stop, but the semi behind them was not and slammed into them.
Wednesday's crashes stretched over a mile and involved more than 40 vehicles between milepost 101 and 102 in Sandusky County, bringing traffic to a standstill for hours.
Truck driver Leonard Vincent was in the middle of it.
"Visibility, first of all due to the winds, was definitely horrible," said Leonard Vincent.
Vincent saw the start of the wreck play out in front of him and felt lucky he was able to stop safely. But then....
"I looked in my left rear view mirror and here comes a blue freight liner and he clipped about three feet off the back of my trailer," added Leonard Vincent. "If it would have been another six or eight inches it probably would have took my legs off."
Emergency crews took Vincent's girlfriend to a Toledo hospital, she's okay but has a gash on her head. He spent hours in his truck waiting it out.
"I slept on the highway when they finally pulled the trailer from each other they pulled me up three quarters mile or a half me and put me on the side of the road," Vincent said.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the westbound lanes of the turnpike are open, but one lane remains closed eastbound between Fremont and Sandusky.
Trooper Andrew Clouser, 29, was also severely injured in the eastbound crash and remains hospitalized at St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo in serious but stable condition.
Officials say he was pinned between two vehicles while helping other drivers involved in the crash. Trooper Clouser has been with the Patrol since September 2012.
It's believed poor visibility and blizzard-like conditions contributed to the deadly accident. The crash remains under investigation.
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