COLERAIN TWP., Ohio - A 12-year-old girl was killed in an 86-vehicle pile up on Interstate 275 caused by a freak snow burst that led to the highway being shut down for seven hours.
Authorities shut down both directions of I-275 around 11:30 a.m when a snow burst of white-out conditions caused the massive pile-up in the westbound direction at the 35.8 mile marker between the Colerain Avenue exit and Hamilton Avenue exit.
Eastbound I-275 reopened around 5 p.m. and westbound I-275 reopened around 6:30 p.m.
The 12-year-old female was struck by a cable median barrier after she exited a damaged vehicle and was standing in the median, according to police. She was transported to Mercy Fairfield Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Officials have not yet released her name.
Authorities said two other children, ages 4 and 5, were transported to local hospitals.
Officials also say at least four of those injured in the crash are listed in critical condition.
The first crews on the scene used the jaws of life to free four people from three separate cars, Colerain Township Fire Captain Darrain Edwards told 9 On Your Side reporter Tom McKee.
Several passenger vehicles were trapped underneath multiple semi trucks when paramedics arrived at the scene, according to officials.
Officials also said that a steel cable that ended up in the middle of the roadway that is usually used to stop cars from crossing the median made a bad situation worse after the initial few collisions.
Ten different emergency agencies responded to the scene and there were at least 20 transports to local hospitals, but none have life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Authorities say the major gust of snow took visibility down to zero on the interstate which caused the massive accident.
Numerous vehicles were towed from the scene by Hamilton County sheriff's wreckers. The owners of those vehicles will be contacted by the Sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit and advised of their vehicle's location. Several Metro buses were called to the scene to transport those whose vehicles were inoperable at the scene of the chain-reaction crash.
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