CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Separate crashes involving massive pileups closed southbound I-75 in Middletown and I-275 at Colerain Avenue on Monday. Sudden snow bursts in both areas caused a 'white out', leaving drivers with reduced visibility and icy conditions on the roads within a short amount of time.
The crash on WB I-275 near Colerain Ave:
A 12-year-old girl was killed after the crash on westbound I-275, a pileup involving at least 86 vehicles.
Authorities say the 12-year-old was a passenger, who got out of a damaged car and was standing in the median. In the midst of the massive pileup, she was struck by a snapped cable median barrier. Upon arrival, emergency crews performed CPR, and she was taken to Mercy Fairfield Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:24 p.m. Her identity has not yet been released.
In addition, 20 people were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tory Smith said among the injured were girls as young as 4 and 5-years-old.
A motor coach bus was brought in to keep those involved in the crash warm.
Brock Weldy, a driver involved described the scene as "a really, really bad movie." He said it started snowing "out of nowhere" and his car suddenly spun around in the middle of the interstate.
"I just hopped out of the car as fast as I could and ran to the side of the road, and it wasn't even five seconds after I exited my vehicle, my car got completely smashed by the semi," said Weldy.
At one point, both directions of I-275 were shut down. Just after 6:30 p.m., both the eastbound and westbound lanes were reopened.
The crash on SB I-75 in Middletown:
A separate pileup on southbound I-75 in Middletown, north of SR 63, happened around 11:35 a.m. Approximately 52 vehicles were involved in the crash. The Lebanon Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said ten people were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
The southbound lanes were shut down, and then reopened just after 3 p.m.
The cause of the massive pileups:
A snow burst occurred in both areas, causing a sudden 'white out' for drivers between 11:30 a.m. and noon. The burst of snow and cold temperatures resulted in very icy conditions on the roads within a short amount of time. An inch of snow in grassy areas was reported in Genntown, Ohio just after noon.
The snow showers have since moved out of the FOX19 viewing area, but there could still be some slick spots on area roadways. Motorists are advised to use caution.
Clean up and Investigation:
Several vehicles were towed from the scene on I-275, and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit says owners will be contacted about the location of their vehicles.
The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Traffic Safety Unit. Any witnesses to the crash are asked to call (513) 825-1500.