CANTON, Ohio -- Rain, freezing rain and sleet combined to create a nightmare on roads and bridges in southern Summit and Stark counties early Thursday, resulting in numerous crashes and one fatality.
The Stark County Coroner's Office says Barry Bailey, 57, of Paris Twp died after he lost control of his car on Rt. 30, south of Canton.
Bailey was involved in a series of crashes on the interstate as drivers reacted to other crashes in front of them.
According to Canton police, there were 28 crashes on city streets and highways beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday. Many of the accidents happened on Rt. 30.
The number of crashes forced Canton police to call in extra officers as they struggled to keep up.
“I think it was a little greater than what we expected; for instance, on my way in I happened on a six-car crash that ended up being three separate crashes. I could see that the street was icy and despite that even though I was holding onto my car door, I still fell down twice, so the conditions were terrible," said Sgt. Steven Swank with Canton police.
ODOT had trucks out starting the night before doing their best to treat roads in advance of the event.
Brent Kovacs of ODOT District 4, which includes six counties, said the challenge has been keeping roads treated when the rain is washing salt away.
The city of Canton also had trucks out on Thursday treating roads and responding to trouble spots including Rt. 30.
ODOT and local authorities say they expected the weather but also believe drivers may have been caught off guard, not having driven in icy conditions since last winter.