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Published: Saturday, 3/17/2001

Three die on area roads as winter delivers a late, hard punch

BY DAVID PATCH AND MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

Three people were killed and four people were hurt, at least one seriously, yesterday in weather-related accidents as a late winter storm dumped up to six inches of heavy wet snow on parts of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Mother Nature gave the area two doses of winter weather - during the day yesterday and again overnight - just four days before the official start of spring.

“This weather is ridiculous,” protested Ann Baronas, a Lucas County Juvenile Court lawyer who took lunchtime refuge in the downtown McDonald's at Adams and Huron streets.

“The forecasters were dead wrong,” said Stan Harding, who works in the Owens-Illinois building and was one of many who chose to eat in the basement food court there. “First they said it would rain, then they said there would be snow, but not enough to stick.”

Downtown Toledo had two inches by lunchtime, and, as of 11 last night, the National Weather Service measured 2.6 inches at Toledo Express Airport.

Traffic accidents were widespread across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

  • Barbara Traver, 48, of Gibsonburg, was killed and two people were hurt in a two-car accident on snow-covered U.S. 20, a mile east of U.S. 23 in Sandusky County's Woodville Township, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

    Ms. Traver, the driver of one of the cars, was pronounced dead at Fremont Memorial Hospital. Frederick Radeloff, 70, of Walbridge, the driver of the other car, and his passenger, Kathleen Radeloff, 39, also of Walbridge, were in fair condition at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

  • Jason L. Brimmer, 29, of Norwalk, was killed when his car crossed the median of snow and slush-covered State Rt. 2 about a mile west of State Rt. 60 in Erie County's Vermilion Township and was struck by a tractor-trailer rig, troopers at the patrol's Sandusky post said.

    Mr. Brimmer, who was driving the car, was pronounced dead at the scene. Arthur M. Carpenter, 58, of Jeromesville, Ohio, the driver of the semi, was not hurt, troopers said.

  • Philip Cottrill, 63, of Howard, Ohio, was killed in a van-pickup truck accident on slush-covered U.S. 23 at Seneca County Road 10 in Big Spring Township, troopers at the Fremont post said.

    Mr. Cottrill, the driver of the pickup truck, was pronounced dead at Fostoria Community Hospital. Raymond Billiot, 40, of Risingsun, the driver of the van, was taken to Fostoria Community Hospital. His condition was not available last night.

  • Charles Woods, 22, of 2471 Franklin Ave., was hurt seriously when his car went off snow and slush-covered Fulton County Road C in York Township and struck a utility pole, troopers at the patrol's Toledo post said.

    Mr. Woods was taken to Fulton County Health Center, Wauseon, by ambulance and then - by helicopter - to Medical College of Ohio Hospitals, where he was admitted in critical condition.

    Another accident required a brief closing of I-75 near I-280 in North Toledo.

    Hillsdale County Sheriff Stan Burchardt said that although main arteries in the Michigan county remained relatively clear, the rural back roads were slick throughout the day.

    In Ottawa County, the residents felt the impact of living near Lake Erie as snow and high winds pelted them.

    AccuWeather, Inc., a private forecasting service based in State College, Pa., said the area likely would see lingering snow today, with a high temperature in the mid 30s. The snow was part of a storm that developed over the Ohio Valley overnight, said Brett Anderson, an AccuWeather senior forecaster.

    Cities south of Toledo received a mix of rain and snow, said Brian Mitchell, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

    Spring is to arrive at 8:31 a.m. Tuesday.

    Blade staff writer Erica Blake contributed to this report.



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