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Published: Tuesday, 3/26/2013

Spring storm closes schools, causes crashes

BLADE STAFF

An early spring snowstorm that moved into northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan on Monday caused slick roads, resulting in school closings across the region and a smattering of accidents, including two that resulted in fatalities.

The storm delivered its heaviest accumulations south of a line from Defiance to Bowling Green to Tiffin.

According to the National Weather Service, 1.3 inches of snow fell at Toledo Express Airport as of 5 p.m. Monday, putting the season-to-date snowfall at 22.1 inches, which is 13.4 inches below the seasonal average.

Elsewhere, spotters for the Weather Service reported that 4.5 inches of snow collected on the ground in Clyde in Sandusky County, 3 inches in Seneca County, 4 inches in Findlay, and 4.2 inches in Upper Sandusky.

In Fulton County’s York Township, a 10-year-old Napoleon boy was killed when the van carrying him and three family members overturned several times after leaving the road, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Zayne Holifield of Napoleon was transported to the Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon, where he was pronounced dead. He was a passenger in the 1995 Chevrolet Astro driven by his father, Lucas Holifield, 30.

Mr. Holifield told troopers that he drove into a snowdrift about 1 p.m. Monday as he was driving east on Township Road C, west of Township Road 8 and about five miles east of Wauseon. The drift caused him to lose control and veer off the right side of the roadway. The van overturned several times in a field.

Mr. Holifield and his sons, Hayden Holifield, 2, and Tucker Holifield, 8, were treated at the Fulton County Health Center. Hayden lives with his father in Stryker and Tucker lives with his mother in Napoleon, troopers said.

The driver and the two older boys were wearing seat belts, with Zayne sitting in the middle bench behind his father and Tucker who was in the front passenger seat. The baby was sitting in a booster seat in the right seat of the middle bench.

Sgt. Rick Vitte said the accident remains under investigation.

And in Pemberville, a village man died at the scene of a single-vehicle crash that occurred Monday afternoon in slippery conditions.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office said Gerald Abke, 70, had been westbound on Alexander Road between Fish Road and State Rt. 199. The pickup he drove was reported to have gone off Alexander at 1:38 p.m. and flipped multiple times.

Pemberville Fire and EMS responded to the scene. Additional information on the crash was unavailable late Monday.

In Toledo Monday morning, Barry Conley of Toledo, crashed his car into a tree after he told police he hit an icy patch while exiting I-75 onto Erie Street. There were no reported injuries in that accident.

Authorities also investigated a two-vehicle crash Monday that seriously injured a Lambertville wo-man in Bedford Township.

Danna Gaines-Carpenter, 25, was taken to Toledo Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, according to the Monroe County’s sheriff’s office.

She was driving a car south on Douglas Road north of Sterns Road about 8:20 a.m. Monday when she drove left of center and struck a northbound Bedford Public Schools bus driven by Debra Lake, 56, of Temperance, sheriff deputies said. There were no students on the bus, according to the sheriff’s office.

The worst of the snowfall likely is over, with less than a half inch of accumulation expected today. The weather service is calling for a high near 39 with northwest winds at 9 to 11 mph.



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