CINCINNATI - Heavy snow gusts were responsible for two major crashes in which a 12-year-old girl was killed and dozens of others were injured on Monday.
Although these intense snow showers seem uncommon for our area, 9 On Your Side Meteorologist Steve Raleigh says they're not unusual. The recent drop in temperatures created the perfect conditions to develop snow showers. In some instances Monday, snowfall rates of 5-to-10 inches per hour fell.
Raleigh said the cold arctic air hovering over the Tri-State the past 24 hours generated conditions for heavy snowfall, which is why these intense bursts developed, causing blinding conditions for drivers.
The areas surrounding I-275 and I-75 where the two major interstate crashes occurred were hit the hardest. The snow showers passed through the areas fast and heavy, causing blinding conditions that set off a chain-reaction of braking that coupled with the lack of complete traction that the snowy conditions created, led to such large pile-ups.
"White out... it just kept getting worse," said Ed Stevens, who was involved in the pile-up on I-75. "The car in front of us panicked and braked and it was all over."
Stevens and his wife said at first they were able to weave in between cars that were braking in front of them, at one point even cheering like they had made it, and "all of a sudden cars just kept hitting us and hitting us," out of the white out, Stevens said. Stevens was not hurt and his wife suffered a minor neck injury.
Officials say more than 70 vehicles were involved in the I-275 accident, which happened between Hamilton and Colerain avenues around 11:30 a.m. Police say a 12-year-old girl, who has not been identified, was killed and several others were hurt.
About 50 vehicles were part of the pileup on I-75, which happened between Middletown and Monroe around 12 p.m. Eighteen people were transported to a local hospital where they were treated for minor, non-life threatening injuries.
The entire Tri-State remains under a Wind Chill Advisory until Tuesday at 10 p.m.
For the latest weather conditions visit http://www.wcpo.com/subindex/weather .
To avoid the crash areas during your commute this evening, visit http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/traffic/re-route-best-ways-around-traffic-caused-by-crashes-on-i-275-i-75 for alternate routes.