Freezing rain causes rush hour mayhem

One man died, a number of people were injured, hundreds had damaged cars, and tens of thousands of people spent hours stuck on Tri-state roads after rainfall froze Tuesday afternoon on roads that had been chilled for several days.

The rains caused huge backups when cars could get up and down the hills.  Roads effectively closed by the ice included I-75 through Grant County, I-71 in boone and Gallatin Counties west of the I-75 split, US 50 west of Cleves, the Indiana-Kentucky bridge on I-275, Ohio 125 between Bethel and Georgetown, among many others.

People going home for work were backed up on major roads in the urban areas. People in rural areas were stuck for more than 6 hours in some cases.  George Kramer of Owen County told FOX19 he was driving home from his job in Williamstown when a car ahead of him slid off the road on a hill on Route 22.  Cars behind were forced to stop, and in a little while there were about 30 cars on the hillside.  It was more than six hours later when a salt truck freed the stuck drivers.

Problems on I-75 in Grant County continued past midnight, with a rash of accidents after some traffic started to move.

Once the rains started falling, road crews were hard-pressed to salt the roads, because stopped rush hour traffic prevented the salt trucks from getting to where the salt was needed.  On top of that, the falling rain washed some of the salt off the road.

A Forest Park man died when his car slid on an elevated section of Martin Luther King Drive east of Reading Road late Tuesday afternoon.  Robert Brooks' car struck a wall, and was hit broadside by a Ford Expedition.  three adults and three kids in the SUV went to the hospital with minor injuries, but Brooks died on the scene.