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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2011

State trooper injured in weather-related crash

The casualties of Tuesday's snowstorm included a state trooper who was injured when he was struck by an out-of-control vehicle while investigating a crash on snowy I-75 in Hancock County's Allen township, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Sgt. Christoper Kinn was admitted to Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay with serious but nonlife-threatening injuries. His condition was unavailable Tuesday night.

Sergeant Kinn was investigating a noninjury accident on southbound I-75 near milepost 163 when he was struck at about 12:40 p.m. by a vehicle driven by Kevin Patton, 20, of Shelby, Ohio, who lost control on the snow-covered road. Mr. Patton was treated at the Findlay hospital and cited for failure to control his vehicle.

Roads and highways across northwest Ohio and southwest Michigan became slick and slippery by afternoon, causing a swarm of accidents, particularly in Findlay. Toledo Express Airport reported 2.7 inches had fallen by 5:30 p.m.

Tayler Meinen, 13, shovels snow from a sidewalk on Thoman Place in West Toledo. Tayler Meinen, 13, shovels snow from a sidewalk on Thoman Place in West Toledo.

The Ohio Department of Transportation put staff at its northwest Ohio garages on 12-hour shifts effective at noon, with morning-shift workers scheduled to return at midnight Wednesday, to plow and salt highways in the region.

Salt brine pretreating of major roads on Monday "helped us get a jump" on the storm, Theresa Pollick, a spokesman at the district office in Bowling Green, said.

A tractor-trailer struck the rear of an ODOT plow on U.S. 6 near State Rt. 281 in Wood County, Ms. Pollick said. While the crash caused only minor injuries, it highlighted the need for motorists to use extra caution during winter storms and to give plows ample room to do their work.

Side-by-side plowing operations were in effect on I-475 in the West Toledo construction zone, as ODOT had said it would do before winter began to reduce temptations for motorists to try to pass plows unsafely in the work area's narrow confines.

Payton Spain, 3, gets a ride on the shoulders of his dad, Steven, as they head to a bus station in downtown Toledo. Payton Spain, 3, gets a ride on the shoulders of his dad, Steven, as they head to a bus station in downtown Toledo.
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Several school districts, including Springfield, Otsego, Sylvania, Rossford, Bowling Green, Lake, and Eastwood canceled athletic practices, games, and other events Tuesday night.

In Bowling Green, Safety Director John Fawcett declared a snow emergency for the city effective at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Cars must be moved off designated snow streets within two hours of the emergency declaration. Cars not removed are subject to towing and/or citation.

Lucas, Fulton, and Hancock counties were among those issuing Level 1 snow emergencies, which meant that roadways were hazardous with blowing and drifting snow.

Traffic was moving slowly along I-75 in the Findlay area, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol, and a lot of accidents have occurred, according to the Van Wert post that covers Hancock, Allen, Putnam, and other nearby counties.

In Lucas County, light snow began falling about 10 a.m. Tuesday, and by 1:15 p.m., heavier snow was blanketing the Toledo area.

Many accidents were reported during the afternoon in Toledo, including North Byrne Road and Dorr Street shortly before 4 p.m. Another occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on U.S. 24 just east of Neowash Road in rural Lucas County.

A winter weather advisory, issued by the National Weather Service, remains in effect until 8 a.m. Wedensday. Snowfall likely will taper to flurries, with a 50 percent chance of snow Wednesday and highs in the mid 20s.

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