Multiple pileup crashes close I-80 for a while

AUSTINTOWN — There were four separate accidents on Interstate 80 around the Meander Reservoir bridge beginning just before noon Tuesday.

The crashes involved multiple passenger vehicles and semi-tractor trailer trucks, according to a Mahoning County 911 Center dispatcher. Interstate 80 westbound at state Route 46 was closed for nearly four hours following the crashes.

One accident involved a single-passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer truck traveling in the westbound lanes, according to the 911 center. A second accident, also in the westbound lane, involved two passenger vehicles and four tractor trailers, according to the center. A third accident, also in the westbound lane, involved 11 vehicles.

The fourth accident involved three cars in the eastbound lanes, according to the center.

A medical helicopter initially was called to transport an unspecified number of injured people, but they were not able to go to the scene because of the weather.

Ambulances were sent to the area to transport those with injuries, according to the 911 Center.

The Canfield Highway Patrol is expected to release details about the cause of the accidents today, but it is believed weather played a role because there was a heavy band of snow moving through the area at the time.

Six people were taken to the hospital — two of which were considered to have critical injuries, according to the patrol.