It was a deadly and extremely dangerous day Monday on area roads in Ohio as dozens of vehicles slid uncontrollably and crashed in five separate pile-ups as a result of snow squalls and icy conditions.
WCPO-TV reported Tuesday that Sammy Reagana, 12, was killed in one of the most severe crashes in the state on Interstate 275 that involved 86 vehicles. Authorities said the pile-up shutdown the roadway for seven hours.
The girl had gotten out of a damaged vehicle and was standing near a median cable barrier when another vehicle struck the cable, which then struck her.
"We've never seen anything like this before," said Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil at a Tuesday press conference.
Authorities shut down both directions of I-275 around 11:30 a.m. EST Monday 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 in the Cincinnati area.
This was only the beginning as four other multiple vehicle pile-ups would occur through the afternoon with dozens injured.
Authorities said as many as 50 vehicles were involved in a pile-up on I-75, also in the Cincinnati area shortly after the first pileup.
A third pileup would involve 29 vehicles on I-270 south at S.R. 161 near Columbus at about 12:30 p.m. EST Monday.
A fourth multiple vehicle crash would be reported in Richland County in the Mansfield area on I-71 south at about 2 p.m. EST Monday. Ohio State Highway Patrol officials said that four semis and at least 15 other vehicles were involved in that crash.
According to WBNS-TV, I-71 north at I-670 near Downtown Columbus was closed at about 3:30 p.m. EST Monday because of a crash involving at least two semis and an unknown number of vehicles.
In addition to the one death, at least 50 people were injured in the various crashes.
Scattered snow squalls with heavy bursts of snow moved across the state throughout the day on Monday as an arctic air mass, the coldest in two years, settled over the region. These quick bands of heavy snow caused rapidly deteriorating conditions with near zero visibility and icy roads, leading to the crashes.
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