At least 12 people across the United States have been killed – including four in a 50-car crash in Ohio – as a nasty bomb cyclone wreaked havoc with snow, sub-zero temperatures and strong winds.
Three people died in weather-related crashes in Oklahoma, while three others were killed on icy roads in Kentucky, PKB Weather reported.
Another person was killed after their vehicle rolled over in Missouri, and one person in Texas died after prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures.
In Ohio, at least four people were killed and several others were injured in a massive 50-car pileup on Friday in treacherous “whiteout conditions,” the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
The first of many crashes happened around 11:45 a.m. between State Route 53 and State Route 4 in Sandusky and Erie counties, officials told WTVG.
The major pileup began to form after a second crash around 12:30 p.m., officials said. In the end “about 50 vehicles [were] involved,” OSHP Sgt. Ryan Purpura said in a video statement.
The identity of the victims has not been released. The exact number of injured is not known.
Purpura said drivers were experiencing “whiteout conditions” on the road amid high winds and snow.
OSHP said responders were transporting people from their vehicles to a local facility to keep warm due to sub-zero temperatures.
“It’s going to last for a while,” an OSHP spokesperson told WTVG. “There are a lot of soldiers and first responders working there.”
OHSHP also responded to a fatal crash on County Road 49 near Huntsville about 80 miles south of the pileup.
Officials have asked that people stay at home if they can help him. If drivers have to get out, he asked them to slow down, increase their following distance and buckle up.
“Our sympathy goes out to the families who lost loved ones during this severe weather in Ohio,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said. said in a statement.
“Road conditions continue to be very hazardous across the state with continuing whiteouts and extremely cold temperatures. Please continue to stay home if possible and be vigilant with these extremely hazardous road conditions”
Police said they are still investigating the crash.
It is not known when the scene of the accident will be clear. The road remains closed in both directions, WTVG reported.