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www.wmfd.com - UPDATE: Interstate 71 southbound, north of the Ohio 13 interchange in Richland County, is now open after a 21 vehicles pileup caused by whiteout conditions. }}" />

   
 
 
I-71 Back Open After 21 Vehicles Involved in Pileup

Story By: Rob Meisse

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 1/21/2013

Mansfield, Ohio –On January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm, Troopers from the Mansfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to a 21 multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 71 southbound north of State Route 13.

The crash occurred during a sudden snow burst causing limited visibility.  The roadway became snow covered and slippery.  Traffic started to slow and bunch up in all three lanes.  A semi-tractor and trailer unit was unable to slow in time and struck the rear of another semi-tractor initiating a 21 vehicle change reaction pile up.  Vehicles collided in all three lanes and also in the median and off the right side of the roadway.  The entire roadway and berms were completely blocked with crashed vehicles. 

Some drivers and occupants complained of minor injuries.  There were no visible injuries and no one was transported.  Washington Township Fire and EMS were on scene.  Wreckers from Shelly Smiths Towing, Ronks Towing, Anderson Towing, Eddie’s Towing, and Westside Towing were called to clear the scene. ODOT set up a detour for Interstate 71 southbound traffic onto US-30.  One lane of traffic was open for southbound traffic at 4:15 pm.  By 5:08 pm the scene was cleared.

Sgt. Mike Roth advised the cause of the crash is following too close.  Vehicles need to maintain assured clear distance ahead so they can safely react to the changing driving conditions.  A two second following distance is recommended.  Your following distance needs to increase as road conditions change.  Be aware of your surroundings and focused ahead as you are driving.  When you see brake lights immediately start to slow, don’t allow yourself to get bunched up with no way out.      

The crash remains under investigation, however Sgt. Roth advised the majority of these vehicles share fault for not maintaining assured clear distance ahead. 

NEW SERVICE:  Be sure to signup for our NEW - Ohio State Highway Patrol - Road Report To Your Cell.  We will send you daily road reports and urgent traffic information such as this right to your cell phone for free!  Brought to you by Spitzer of Mansfield.   To signup go to http://www.wmfd.com/text or text OSHP to 74574

   
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