Winter weather makes for messy morning commute

An overturned semi tied up a lane of I-75 near Miamisburg for several hours January 8th, 2017.

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) –  Hazard lights and flashing squad cars lit up dark highways around the region Monday morning as drivers battled icy weather and slick roads.

The Ohio State Patrol said a freezing mix of rain and snow was to blame for many crashes in the region. A semi truck that jack-knifed on I-70 around 2:15 a.m. Monday was among several to do so in the early hours.

Doug Thoma, general manager and co-owner of Sandy’s Towing Company, said his crews responded to around 60 separate calls between midnight and 7:30 a.m. Many of the calls involved fishing a vehicle from a ditch or median when it slid off the road.

Law enforcement was calling for drivers to slow down and increase their following distances to avoid crashing.

“Being two minutes late to work is not a big deal compared to being two hours late from a crash,” said Lt. Todd Tennant of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office. “Leave early and take your time. Don’t be in a huge hurry.”

Another semi crash around 7:00 a.m. tied up the northbound lane of I-75, near the I-675 interchange for hours Monday morning.

The semi was carrying more than 23 tons of small, plastic pellets and its trailer broke with the weight of the load when it crashed. A team had to meticulously vacuum up the mess before it could move the truck.

The crew  echoed law enforcement’s call for motorists to reduce their speeds, especially near accident scenes.

“They’re not slowing down one bit out here right now,” said Thoma. “They’re running 65 miles per hour past us and the shoulder is still a solid sheet of ice.”

No one was hurt in either of the early morning semi crashes. The State Highway Patrol is investigating both.

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