Pileup closes 711 and other roadways freeze, causing peril to drivers

The first snow of the season led to numerous crashes on icy roads and closures Sunday night in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

The bridges were “nothing but ice,” police officers said as they responded to crash scenes, according to radio traffic.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Patrick Abel said the icy conditions created problems on the roadways, but around 8:30 p.m. the activity started to slow down as the Ohio Department of Transportation treated the roadways with salt.

Bridges were wet and slippery all over the area, said Abel.

A 25- to 45-car pileup at 4:40 p.m. Sunday in the southbound lane of state Route 711 just south of the Trumbull County line  led to closures and calls for mutual aid. Three ambulances were called. More traffic waiting for the road to clear crashed too, according to radio scanner traffic.

Trumbull County dispatchers and officers assisted with traffic control on Route 711. They also dealt with several accidents in the eastbound lanes of state Route 82 in Bazetta,  where traffic was reportedly backed up due to the crashes and closures farther up the road.

Authorities closed ramps to Interstate 680 near state Route 711 in Youngstown where a fire truck was involved in a crash.

All roadways were open again by 10 p.m., Tribune Chronicle news partner WKBN-TV reported.

The Warren patrol post responded to at least eight crashes, but other agencies handled even more, Abel said. Most of the accidents were fender benders or single-car crashes involving guard rails, trees and poles, Abel said.

No one in crashes the patrol handled was injured, Abel said.

The Mahoning Avenue Bridge over Meander Reservoir was closed in Austintown due to multiple accidents.

Just after 9 p.m., a car crashed into a electric pole on Howland Wilson Road, causing wires to fall and a road closure, according to police radio traffic. Wires were also down around 5:50 p.m. when a car hit a pole on Barclay Messerly Road at Burton Road in Southington, according to radio traffic.

In Bazetta, a police cruiser was hit while the officer was working to clear a different crash on Elm Road near state Route 82. No one was injured.

About 1.2 inches of snow fell and the temperature never rose above 33 on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

WKBN[-TV reported the snow was expected to disband over night, but showers without accumulation was still possible. Overnight temperatures in the 20s could lead to more ice, WKBN reported.

A stray snow shower or two is possible today.

In icy conditions, drivers need to be patient on the roads, drive slowly and keep a big distance between themselves and other drivers, Abel said.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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