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Snow results in 50-vehicle crash on I-80

Winter again demonstrated its power to disrupt traffic and send scores of motorists to the hospital in a recent incident. The heavy snow that spread across Ohio recently resulted in a massive 50-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 80 just east of Austintown. The chain reaction accident began at about 10:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes of I-80. All westbound lanes on I-80 were closed during much of the day as police and rescue crews worked to untangle the wreckage.

The rescue crews first removed the smaller vehicles from the crash scene. By 4:00 p.m., all but five of the 50 cars had been removed. Four semis and a box truck remained blocking the Interstate.

Several people were taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown. At least one had life-threatening injuries, and one was reported to be in critical condition. While rescue crews worked to clear the roadway, police accident reconstruction experts were taking photos of the scene and making measurements that will help them determine how the accident happened. The freeway was re-opened to traffic at about 11:30 p.m.

While winter may be deemed to be the principal culprit in this accident, winter driving requires extra care. The police accident reconstruction team may determine that one or more drivers failed to obey these rules. These drivers may share portions of the fault for the accident.

In accidents where persons are injured due to the negligence of another driver - or multiple drivers - it may be possible to obtain compensation to help cover medical debts, lost wages, and more. Even when weather is a factor, negligence can be a major contributor to the accident and provide the basis for a successful personal injury lawsuit.

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