‘White-out’ conditions lead to 52-vehicle pileup on I-75

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 11:51 AM
Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 9:22 PM

            Emergency crews respond to Interstate 75 South near the Middletown exit for a crash involving more than 30 vehicles Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Morning weather conditions are believed to have contributed to the crash.
            Nick Daggy
Emergency crews respond to Interstate 75 South near the Middletown exit for a crash involving more than 30 vehicles Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Morning weather conditions are believed to have contributed to the crash.(Nick Daggy)

A snow squall that created “white-out” conditions and slick roads is being blamed for three pileup crashes that killed a 12-year-old girl and involved more than 150 vehicles on Ohio interstates Monday.

Fifty-two vehicles — including two semitrailers — crashed into each other on southbound Interstate 75 near the Ohio 122 exit in Middletown just before noon, scattering wreckage across the road and backing up traffic for miles, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. No one involved suffered life-threatening injuries, though nine people went to Atrium Medical Centerfor treatment of bumps and bruises, officials said.

“It just came out of the blue. There was a white-out from the squall that came through the area so people couldn’t see, then the road got coated,” said Sgt. Scott Bierer, of the patrol’s Lebanon post. “It was like a perfect storm.”

Light snow flurries were predicted as a possibility Monday, but the white-out event was unexpected.

At about the same time of the massive pileup on I-75, as many as 86 cars and trucks were colliding on I-275 near the Colerain Avenue exit. About 20 people were injured in the crash and a 12-year-old girl was killed when she got out of her car after the accident, according to Colerain Twp. fire officials.

The girl, who had not been identified by name late Monday, was standing in the median and was either struck by another vehicle or a guardrail that snapped, authorities said.

A third accident involving as many as 20 vehicles happened at about 12:30 p.m. on I-270 south near Westerville, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Three people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office officials were unavailable for comment, but on scene Cpl. Robert Burns said the pileup was caused by ice and low visibility because of the snow, according to the Dispatch.

Luke Stevens, 18, of Van Wert, was at the front of the pileup on I-75 after the car he was in with three others spun out of control.

“It was complete ice all over the highway,” Stevens said, adding he could see other vehicles coming at his car once it came to a stop facing north.

“Cars were coming straight toward us at 60 miles per hour. … We ended up getting hit head-on by a truck,” he said. “We got hit probably 10 other times by other cars banging into each other. … We were in a (Buick) Rendezvous. All the airbags deployed.”

His mother was in the vehicle and was taken to a hospital with a neck injury, he said.

Authorities shut down southbound I-75 starting at Ohio 123 for about four hours while troopers and crews from Middletown, Monroe, Turtlecreek Twp., Liberty Twp. and Joint Emergency Medical Services gathered information from drivers, tended to the injured and cleared wreckage. No one has been cited for any traffic violations, officials said.

Jackie Jones, of Carlisle, said she is a teacher who was off school headed to Cincinnati Premium Outlets and was on the interstate when the snow began to fall so heavily she couldn’t see. Jones said it was instantly white.

“All I could see were cars starting to swirl in front of me. As soon as I tapped my brakes my car started to kind of get out of control,” she said.

“I gripped the wheel and somehow made it to the side of the road,” she said. “Thank goodness the cars around me didn’t collide and were able to come to stops.”

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Toys R Us founder Charles Lazarus dies at 94

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:42 PM

Toys ‘R’ Us May Close All U.S. Stores

Charles Lazarus, who founded what would become Toys R Us in 1948, has died, company officials confirmed Thursday. He was 94.

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The news came just days after officials with the toy store chain announced it would be closing its U.S. stores.

“There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus,” Toys R Us officials wrote Thursday in a tweet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”

Michael Goldstein, a friend of Lazarus’ who formerly served as chairman of Toys R Us, told Bloomberg News that Lazarus died Thursday in Manhattan.

"He was the father of the toy business," Goldstein told CNN Money. "He knew the toys and loved the toys and loved the kids who would shop in the stores. His face lit up when he watched kids playing with toys."

>> Related: Toys R Us closings: What happens to 31,000 employees, your gift cards?

In a 1986 article, The Atlantic magazine credited Lazarus as “the person most responsible for loosening Santa’s grip” on the toy industry, expanding sales from a holiday-only to a year-round business.

Lazarus served as a cryptographer during World War II and took over his family’s bicycle shop in Washington D.C. after he returned to the U.S. in 1923, according to The Atlantic. He started to sell baby furniture, The Atlantic reported, but he noticed that he rarely got return customers because of the sturdiness of his stock.

>> Related: Amazon looking to buy abandoned Toys R Us storefronts

"Toys are a great kind of thing to sell, because they don't last that long," he told the magazine in 1986.

Lazarus served as head of Toys R Us through the company’s sale in 1966 to Interstate Department Stores Inc., and through Interstate’s bankruptcy in 1974, according to Bloomberg.

Toys R Us dominated the toy store business in the 1980s and early '90s, when it was one of the first of the category killers -- big stores that are so totally devoted to one thing and have such impressive selection that they drive smaller competitors out of business. Lazarus, who remained at the helm until 1994, stacked the merchandise high to give shoppers the feeling it had an infinite number of toys.

>> Related: Toys R Us closing sales: What you need to know when liquidation begins

He stepped down as chairman of the company in 1998, Bloomberg reported.

Officials with Toys R Us announced last week that the company planned to close or sell its 735 stores nationwide, including its Babies R Us stores. The superstore chain could no longer bear the weight of its heavy debt load and relentless trends that hurt its business, namely competition from the likes of Amazon, discounters like Walmart, and mobile games.

Toys "R" Us - Fast Facts
The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Winter Storm: ‘Either Dayton or Cincinnati will get nailed’

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:21 PM

Another winter storm is taking aim on the Miami Valley and southwest Ohio just in time for the first weekend of spring. While the track is still somewhat uncertain, parts of the area could see significant snow Saturday. Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell says we will need to pay close attention to this early spring storm.

A clipper-type system will push through southwest Ohio this weekend, but it’s too early to tell the storm’s track.

>> 5-Day Forecast

“Here’s the bottom line: It’s an intense system and someone is going to see a lot of snow, we just don’t know where it’s going yet,” Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said. “Right now, it looks like either Dayton or Cincinnati will get nailed.”

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Areas between Dayton and Cincinnati will see a lot of snow, Elwell said.

“But any small deviation in the track will play a huge role in who sees what,” he said.

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Winter Storm Watch for southwestern Miami Valley beginning late Friday 

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 3:32 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 8:55 PM

Sunshine is expected today in the Dayton area, with snow returning Saturday.

Mainly clear skies are in the forecast this evening with temperatures slowly falling through the 30s, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.


  • Clear and quiet Friday
  • Winter storm to brush Miami Valley starting this weekend 
  • Warmer pattern setting up next week 

>> Winter Storm: ‘Either Dayton or Cincinnati could get nailed’

>> Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar


Tonight: Clear skies are expected. Temperatures will drop back into the lower 20s.

>> Whio Weather App

Friday: Skies will be mostly sunny with temperatures rebounding into the middle 40s.

Saturday: Skies will be cloudy with snow likely, especially south. The snow may be heavy with accumulation likely depending on the storm track. Highs will hold in the upper 30s.


RELATED: Frostbite, hypothermia warning signs

Sunday: Skies will clear with temperatures climbing back into the lower 40s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Monday: Clouds will be on the increase. Temperatures will rebound to near 50 degrees.

Tuesday:  Milder temperatures arrive but so will the threat for showers. Highs will top out in the middle 50s.

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National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster out; former U.S. ambassador John Bolton in

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

Who Is H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Adviser

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is resigning from the Trump administration and will be replaced by former U.S. ambassador John Bolton, according to a tweet Thursday afternoon from President Donald Trump.

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National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster attends a meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C.(Pool/Getty Images)

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