DEERFIELD, Mich. -- Authorities have released the identities of four of at least six people who were injured in a flurry of weather-related crashes in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan early today, authorities said.
"It's the first snow," Denise Domonkos, a dispatcher at the patrol's Berea district headquarters, said. "People just forgot how to drive in winter [conditions]."
Jarrett Callahan,18, of Deerfield, Mich., who was driving a sport utility vehicle; Radley Wade, 25, of Tecumseh, Mich., who was driving a car, and his passengers, Charles Hopkins, 30, of Osseo, Mich., and Justin Smith,19, of Lambertville, were all taken to Toledo Hospital after an early morning crash, according to the Monroe County's Sheriff's Office.
Mr. Callahan was listed in serious condition, Mr. Wade was listed in critical condition, and Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Smith were each listed in stable condition, deputies said.
The crash occurred about 5:50 a.m. on Deerfield Highway, east of Bragg Road, in Monroe County's Summerfield Township, according to the sheriff's office. The Callahan SUV was westbound on Deerfield when for unknown reasons it crossed the center line and collided with the Wade car head-on, sheriff deputies said.
Both drivers wore seat belts. The crash remains under investigation.
In earlier crashes, two drivers were injured when three tractor-trailer rigs crashed in separate incidents on ice-covered State Rt. 2 in Perkins Township soon after midnight, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.
One of the victims was flown to University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital; the other was driven to Firelands Regional Medical Center with "incapacitating injuries," according to the patrol's Sandusky post. The names and conditions were not released.
The first crash occurred about 12:15 a.m. near Old Railroad Road. An eastbound semi slid off the north side of Route 2, crossed the median, and vaulted off an embankment into a "small stream," troopers said in a written statement. The driver, who was trapped in the debris, was extricated and flown to UTMC, troopers said.
A short time later, another eastbound semi slid off the north side of the road, struck a guardrail, and came to rest in the median, about 200 yards from the scene of the first crash, according to the patrol. The driver was not injured.
About the time first responders reached the driver involved in the second crash, yet another semi crashed nearby after sliding off the south side of the road. It struck a guard rail, slid down an embankment, and jackknifed before coming to rest, troopers said. The driver was taken to Firelands.
Traffic on eastbound Route 2 between State Rt. 101 and State Rt. 4 returned to normal about 11:15 a.m. after being closed most of the morning to allow for the removal of the debris, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The crashes occurred just outside the limits of Sandusky.
Other crashes caused only minor or no injuries, according to area law enforcement agencies. Most of those incidents happened in Paulding, Van Wert, Erie, and Lucas counties before the sunrise.
About a half-inch of snow fell overnight at Toledo Express, according to AccuWeather, a private weather forecasting service based in State College, Pa. There were reports of a half-inch to about an inch of snow across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist for the service, said.
It's going to be generally clear and cold today, breezy, with winds between 10 and 20 mph, with the temperatures getting up into the upper 30s in the afternoon and then falling to the the upper teens overnight, Mr. Kines said.
Wednesday should be sunny, with temperature highs in the upper 30s, on the breezy side, much like today, making it feel a little colder, according to AccuWeather.