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‘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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Flash Flood Watch issued for some, isolated storms possible today 

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:34 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Damaging winds and flooding the main threat.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until midnight issued for some counties in the area, including: Auglaize, Clark, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami and Shelby counties. 

McCall Vrydaghs/Staff

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Mild for the weekend 
  • Isolated flooding and damaging winds possible
  • Few showers and storms into the evening

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

THIS EVENING:Partly sunny with a few passing showers or storms into the early evening. Some isolated storms may become intense with locally heavy rain and strong wind gusts. Severe threat is low, but the potential exists that a couple of storms may produce damaging winds. Storms will weaken and taper of into the night. Clouds linger with temperatures falling into the middle 60s late.

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

>> LIVE Doppler 7 Interactive HD Radar

TOMORROW:  Mostly cloudy, mild and still a little muggy with the chance of a few passing showers or isolated storm. A little bit of a breezy afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s. Some breaks in the clouds Saturday night with temperatures dropping into the lower 60s.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny and warm with the slight chance of a passing shower. Most of the area will remain dry with highs in the lower 80s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and comfortably warm for Monday. Temperatures rise into the lower 80s.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy and warmer for Tuesday. Highs in the middle 80s.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny skies with showers and a few storms developing. A very warm and muggy day with temperatures climbing into the upper 80s.

 

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Perales GOP opponent indicted for extortion and coercion

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:42 PM


            State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek defeated Republican Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn in the May 8, 2018 Republican primary election
State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek defeated Republican Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn in the May 8, 2018 Republican primary election

Former Republican statehouse candidate Jocelyn Smith, 36, of Fairborn, was indicted on felony and misdemeanor counts related to alleged threats she made during her campaign against State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, during this year’s GOP primary, according to Greene County Common Pleas Court records.

Smith faces a third-degree felony count of extortion and a second-degree misdemeanor count of coercion, according to court records of the secret indictment filed June 15. Smith, who is a registered-nurse case manager at Sheakley Unicomp and a teacher at Fortis College, is scheduled to be arraigned in Greene County Common Pleas Court on July 6 at 1 p.m.

RELATED: Perales: My opponent is extorting me

Greene County Prosecutor Stephen K. Haller referred the case to a special prosecutor, Madison County Prosecutor Stephen J. Pronai, to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

“The indictment against my client, Jocelyn Smith, is a politically motivated witch hunt by the Greene County ‘good-old-boys’ network and a prosecutorial abuse of discretion and power that will be vigorously defended against,” said Smith’s attorney, Ben Swift, in an email Friday. “We look forward to our day in court when all of the true facts will come out.”

Perales, a former Greene County commissioner and Beavercreek councilman, said he just wants to focus on serving his western Greene County 73rd District, which he has represented since 2013.

“There are no winners in this situation. Justice just needs to take it’s course,” Perales said. “People have to be held accountable for their words and deeds. I remain focused on winning in November.”

On May 8 Perales defeated Smith 80 percent to 20 percent after bitter primary campaign. Perales faces Kim McCarthy, a Sugarcreek Twp. Democrat, in the Nov. 6 General Election.

During the campaign, Smith alleged that Perales had choked, forcibly kissed, fondled and sexted with her in 2015.

RELATED:Ohio House Rep. denies opponent’s claim he kissed and choked her

Perales, who is married, admits sending inappropriate sexually oriented text messages to Smith during a brief consensual relationship in early 2015 but denies that he choked, kissed or touched her in any intimate way. Perales said Smith sent him topless photos of herself but that he did not send any sexually oriented photos to her.

Smith denied sending the pictures and said that because she refused to have sex with him Perales would not sponsor a pancreatic cancer specialty license plate bill she supported. State records show Perales did co-sponsor and vote for a bill establishing the specialty plate.

RELATED: Perales prevails over Smith in bizarre Greene County statehouse race

The indictment stems from a complaint accusing Smith of extortion that Perales filed with Fairborn Police in April after Smith held a March 27 news conference in Fairborn. At the news conference, Smith said that if Perales did not resign from the state legislature and withdraw from the Republican primary, she would release texts and other documentation she said proved her allegations.

“Please don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages and other mountains of evidence,” Smith said at the news conference. “I think you know the honorable thing to do is to step down.”

RELATED:‘Don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages,’ local candidate tells lawmaker

In a May 2 interview Smith called Perales’ extortion complaint “a bogus charge. Perales is very good at writing these false reports.”

Smith ultimately released some sexually oriented texts to local news media but there was no way to verify that they came from Perales, nor did they contain any proof that he had choked, forcibly kissed or fondled her.

Perales questioned Smith’s credibility, saying her story changed multiple times and pointing to court cases involving her.

RELATED: Polygraph test for local statehouse candidate canceled

In 2014, a Warren County judge placed Smith in a pre-trial diversion program on three counts of telephone harassment of a man, according to court records. She completed the program and the case was dismissed in November 2014. In September 2017 Smith successfully petitioned the court to expunge the case, according to Warren County court records. In 2015 she obtained a temporary civil protection order against the man in the telephone harassment case, and that protection order was later dismissed at her request, according to Greene County court records.

In a separate court case, a civil protection order was issued in 2009 against Smith by a Clark County Common Pleas Domestic Relations Court magistrate after a former boyfriend accused her of harassing him after they broke up, Clark County court records show. That temporary order was dismissed 17 days later after a hearing in which a Clark County Common Pleas magistrate warned Smith against escalating her behavior. In 2008 Smith was fired as a Clark County deputy after being accused of showing photos of her nude breasts to male co-workers, pointing pepper spray at an inmate as a joke and having an inappropriate relationship with a former inmate. Smith denied all the charges except the pepper-spray incident but lost her 2009 lawsuit and 2012 appeal alleging race and gender discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Other stories by Lynn Hulsey

‘Throw the bums out’ mantra didn’t apply to primary election

The deaths of five women in Dayton linked by drugs, possible foul play

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9,000 barrels of bourbon crash to ground during Kentucky distillery collapse

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:24 PM

Barrels of bourbon stored at a distillery.
Pixabay
Barrels of bourbon stored at a distillery.(Pixabay)

A building collapse at the Barton 1792 distillery in Kentucky Friday morning caused thousands of barrels of bourbon to crash to the ground.

>> Read more trending news 

Emergency officials told WLKY that approximately 9,000 barrels of bourbon were affected. The building houses about 20,000 barrels.

There were no injuries, The Courier-Journal in Louisville reported.

Officials were assessing the damage and attempting to determine whether any of the bourbon leaked into the ground or nearby water sources, WLKY reported. Officials have not determined a cause for the collapse. Crews worked to secure the building to prevent further damage.

A barrel can hold 53 gallons of bourbon and weigh about 550 pounds, WLKY noted. 

The Barton 1792 distillery is owned by the Sazerac company, which is based in New Orleans, The Courier-Journal reported.

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WATCH: Woman walks away after car goes airborne, slams into gas station

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:02 PM

A customer purchases gasoline at a Marathon gas station.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
A customer purchases gasoline at a Marathon gas station.(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A Mississippi woman was able to walk away Thursday after she lost control of her car, sending it airborne and crashing into a gas station, narrowly missing the gas pumps.

>> Read more trending news 

The woman was not able to avoid the law, however.

Shelby Lynne May was behind the wheel, the Rankin County Sheriff's Office told Mississippi News Now. A surveillance camera at the Marathon gas station in Flowood recorded the dramatic accident, which shows the car barreling off the road toward the gas station, running into a sign, going airborne and then flipping around to land against a gas pump.

MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

The surveillance video posted by Mississippi News Now shows May walking away from the car, with a bystander steadying her by the arm.

The Sheriff's Office told Mississippi News Now that May was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. 

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