‘There Are Wrecks Everywhere’: 911 Calls Reveal Turnpike Crash Nightmare

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Data pix.

MILAN, Ohio--The Ohio Turnpike remains a mess, nearly 24 hours after a multi-car crash killed three people, injured a state trooper and snarled traffic for hours.

Crews spent the day on Thursday removing vehicles and debris from the roadway. The crash scene stretched over a mile long and involved at least 40 vehicles.

(Courtesy: Photo from OSP)
(Courtesy: Photo from OSP)

Just before 1:30 on Wednesday afternoon, 911 calls came pouring into the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office of a multi-vehicle crash eastbound on the Ohio Turnpike in Sandusky County.

"There are wrecks everywhere. Oh my God," said one 911 caller.

"There is a huge pile-up on the turnpike eastbound somewhat east of the rest stop," said another.

"I have two more entrapments," said one 911 caller. "You have three entrapments at the 102 East?" asked the dispatcher. "Right, and several other injuries."

One crash started a chain reaction of crashes, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. One crash near milepost 102 and one near milepost 101.

"My car is a wreck and the truck is wrecked in front of me. There is a guy upside down bleeding," said a 911 caller.

Three people were killed in the crash including 20-year-old Hannah Matheny of Parma.  One of the injured was 29-year-old Andrew Clouser, a trooper with the highway patrol.

"I need a squad at the 102 eastbound. It's for one of our troopers," said the caller to the 911 dispatcher.

The accident snarled traffic for hours.

Todd Thoenen a truck driver for Nexeo Solutions was headed east on the turnpike trying to get back to Twinsburg.

"Basically all I saw was trucks, trucks as far as you could see on both sides. I posted pictures of trucks in front of me and back of me," he said.

Thoenen was stuck in traffic with no where to go from 3:00 until midnight. He was forced to spend the night near Toledo.

"It wakes up a lot of people. I have encountered a lot of those close calls in the past so I'm really prepared for what is going on," Thoenen said. "I'm always ready."

The Ohio Turnpike released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“Employees at the Ohio Turnpike send our deepest sympathies and condolences to
the families of those whose lives were lost and all individuals who were affected by
yesterday’s tragic events.

We also wish to express our gratitude to the customers who were delayed by the weather-­‐related closures and for their patience, understanding, and cooperation.

Despite many, many challenges due to the severity of the wreckage, a number of crews and Turnpike partners’ worked around-­‐the-­‐clock so that our customers could get moving again.

A full investigation of these accidents is currently being conducted by the Ohio
State Highway Patrol with the assistance of the Ohio Turnpike. Once the investigation
is complete, additional information will be available."

One of the victims in that tragic crash was a 20-year-old woman, Hannah Matheny.

*Watch Peggy Sinkovich's report below for more on how Hanna is being remembered*

Data pix.

CLICK HERE for more stories on the turnpike crash.

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