10-mile back-up: Travelers stuck on OH Turnpike for hours as crews cleared wreckage & debris

SANDUSKY CO., Ohio - Major traffic delays continued on the Ohio Turnpike Thursday, one day after three people died in a massive 50-vehicle pile up.

“We had significant damage to vehicles on the roadway,” said Adam Greenslade of the Ohio Turnpike. “We had trouble getting emergency personnel and tow trucks here.”

Wednesday’s accident stretched two miles at mile marker 101 east bound. Some drivers were stranded in their cars for 12 hours in a mangled maze of a mess. At the time of the accident, white out conditions engulfed the highway as a fierce winter storm blew through.

“It was extremely low visibility,” added Greenslade.

Crews spent Thursday clearing big piles of debris and wrecked tractor trailers from the roadway and shoulder. Traffic was diverted to one lane at the accident scene to clear which caused a 10-mile back-up.

“Stop, go, stop, go,” said Eugene Bern, a truck driver who left Toledo Thursday morning and spent four hours in Turnpike traffic.

The debris included siding, drywall, auto parts, potatoes and other food. Some tractor trailers were so badly damaged they were unrecognizable.

Officials at the Ohio Turnpike said they are reviewing the situation and their procedures to determine if or how a similar situation could be prevented in the future.

Wednesday’s crash seriously injured a state highway patrol trooper. He was pinned between two cars.

The Ohio Turnpike released a statement Thursday: “Employees at the Ohio Turnpike send our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of those whose lives were lost and all individuals who were affected by yesterday’s tragic events.”

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