3 killed in massive pileup on Turnpike; trooper injured - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

3 killed in massive pileup on Turnpike; trooper injured

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Trooper Andrew Clouser Trooper Andrew Clouser

Ohio State Highway Patrol has confirmed three people are dead and a trooper is seriously injured after a string of weather-related crashes involving at least 50 vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike.

"Devastation. I've never seen anything like this and I lived next to the turnpike my entire life," says Ashlie Gowitzka.  "There was literally a huge boom, my entire house shook. There was another huge boom and just like a bunch of .. kind of like fireworks in the distance going off."

A major stretch of the Turnpike remains shut down Wednesday evening in parts of Erie and Sandusky Counties. The closure stretches from State Route 53 to State Route 4 near Fremont.

Pileups stretched across a two-mile section in the eastbound lanes of the road, midway between Toledo and Cleveland.

OSHP says Trooper Andrew Clouser, 29, suffered severe injuries while responding to one of the accidents, when he was pinned between two vehicles. Clouser was taken to the hospital, where he is listed in serious but stable condition. 

"The road conditions were poor. People couldn't get stopped in time and he actually got pinned between the vehicles," says Lt. Chris Kinn with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

Another series of pileups about 10 miles to the east shut down the turnpike's westbound lanes near Sandusky.

Authorities are asking drivers to stay off the Turnpike in Erie and Sandusky counties until the scene is completely cleared.

Troopers shut down the turnpike in both directions backing up traffic for miles.  One couple from Wisconsin was stuck for hours before they were able to turn around and re-route to a detour on State Route 53 to Route 20.

"Traffic slowed to a standstill. We were there for about three hours. Nothing, no movement," says Laura Whitwer of Madison.

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