Tailgating, speed cited in snow crashes


MILAN, Ohio — Fifty distinct collisions involving 126 different vehicles occurred during whiteout conditions March 12 on the Ohio Turnpike in eastern Sandusky and southwestern Erie counties, the Ohio Highway Patrol has concluded.

Three people died and trooper Andrew Clouser was seriously injured in the worst area, between Mileposts 101 and 102, where six separate crashes occurred, troopers from the Milan post said Friday as it reported the completion of its investigation.

Those crashes involved 55 vehicles and injured 36 people, according to a patrol statement.

Crashes elsewhere in the area on the turnpike injured 13 other people, the patrol said. It blamed all of the crashes on tailgating and speeds that were unsafe for the poor weather conditions, and urged motorists to slow down and increase following distances during bad weather, “be it snow, fog, or heavy rain.”

Killed in three separate vehicles in the main pile-up were Hannah Matheny, 20, of Parma, Ohio; Grzegorz Piwowarczyk, 42, of Palatine, Ill., and Janice Robb, 66, of Schererville, Ind.

The investigation report is to be presented to the Sandusky County Prosecutor's Office.