13 were killed and more than 4,200 were assisted by state troopers after winter conditions left Ohio roadways a mess over the holiday weekend.
A 46-vehicle pileup involving tractor trailers on the Ohio Turnpike killed four and left vehicles stacked on top of each other on Friday, December 23rd; four more were killed on Saturday, December 24th in a three vehicle crash on Interstate 75 involving a semi truck; five more were killed in various other weather-related crashes over the holiday weekend, reported WTOL 11 News.
The 46-vehicle pileup happened between State Route 53 and State Route 4 in Sandusky County and eventually stretched into Erie County. The incident and subsequent rescues occurred during high winds, blowing snow, and frigid temperatures.
Three of the four killed in the event have been identified as Bernard M. Bloniarz, 59; Julie E. Roth, 37, who was pregnant; and Emma L. Smith, 19. The identity of the fourth victim has not been released pending notification of next of kin. It is unclear exactly how many people were injured in the pileup.
Troopers on scene confirm two fatalities, with a minimum of 46 vehicles involved. Multiple agencies from several counties are continuing rescue operations. White-out conditions persist. Travel is not recommended.#OhioTurnpikeMP106Crash pic.twitter.com/PhPcwdrsEv— OSHP_NWOhio (@OSHP_NWOhio) December 23, 2022
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” a 30-year veteran of Toledo Fire & Rescue Department said. “One of the worst incidents I’ve ever responded to.”
“Hearing all the screams of people and people running away from the accident, I knew this was really bad,” said 40-year-old Tom Hanus, who was involved in the pileup but was not hurt.
A much smaller but equally deadly wreck happened on Saturday, December 24th, on Interstate 75 in Franklin Township, Shelby County, leaving four dead.
According to Dayton 247 Now, 29-year-old truck driver Dayren Rocubert, of Hialeah, Florida was traveling north on Interstate 75 when his semi truck went off the left side of the road, crashed through a ditch and cable barrier, and continued into the southbound lanes. Once in the southbound lanes, the tractor trailer struck two vehicles, causing a serious wreck.
Two people in a GMC, 32-year-old Lauren M. Hahn, and 63-year-old Kimberly A. Siegrist, were killed in the wreck. Jeremy D. R. Boehne, a 32-year-old driving an F-150, also died in the crash. Boehne’s passenger, 33-year-old Karen M. Boehne, was transported to two hospitals with life threatening injuries before passing away.
Boehne’s passenger, Karen M. Boehne, 33, of Farmington, Michigan was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital with life threatening injuries. She was then flown by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital, where she died from her injuries.
An additional five people were killed in five more wrecks across the state of Ohio, and troopers responded to around 1,300 total crashes and assisted more than 4,200 motorists.
“Anytime a life is lost on the Ohio roadways, the troopers on patrol, we take it personal because it is a tragedy. Anytime a life is lost, our goal, our job as troopers it to ensure everyone makes it to their destination safely,” said said Lieutenant Nathan Dennis, with Ohio State Highway Patrol.