BRIMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio –
Saturday’s snow storm is being blamed for dozens of accidents on I-76 in Portage County.
In one pile-up near the Summit County line, 16 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction crash, and at another crash scene east of Tallmadge, there was an 11-vehicle pile-up.
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As many as 20 people were hurt, but investigators said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Tow truck drivers say the open stretch of I-76 near Kent is notorious during winter storms.
“The snow blows across and re-covers what they already plowed or salted, and then this temperature makes it refreeze,” said Carl Harris.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol shut down the westbound lanes of 76 for hours so that ODOT crews could clear the highway, and all the wrecked vehicles could be towed away.
It made for a frustrating day for the drivers stuck in the traffic jam caused by the shut-down.
Mike Maloney, of Cincinnati, told Fox 8, “I thought it would just never get going. It would stop and go probably every five minutes. You would start moving a little bit, for just increments is all we were doing.”
After six hours, the highway reopened, but after a nerve-wracking day, some travelers decided to call it a day.
“I’m filling up again. I’m on three quarters. I want to make sure it’s full for tomorrow morning,” said Maloney. “Maybe we can get a fresh start.”