At Least Six People Die on Icy Roads in Snowstorm; Three Other Deaths Connected to Winter Weather

Ron Brackett
Published: November 13, 2019

At least nine deaths are being connected to the November snowstorm and record low temperatures that swept across the Plains and Upper Midwest Monday and Tuesday and moved east Wednesday.

Six people died in crashes on icy or snowy roads. At least three people died in other incidents related to the storm or the cold, according to The Associated Press.

The youngest was a 13-year-old girl who died after a snowmobile crash Tuesday in Independence Township, Michigan.

An 80-year-old Chicago man was found dead on the floor of his garage Monday. Authorities said the man died of heart disease, but exposure to the cold contributed to his death. He was identified by the medical examiner’s office as Curtis Matthews.

A man died Tuesday when he became trapped under heavy equipment he was using to clear snow at his business near Bangor, Michigan.

Snowy weather and whiteout conditions on roads were blamed for multiple pileups in Ohio and at least two fatalities on Tuesday, a day after at least four people were killed in dangerous travel conditions.

(MORE: Arctic Cold Surge Smashes Over 300 Mid-November Records in the Plains, Midwest, South and East

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the driver of a semitrailer died after he crashed into an emergency vehicle early Tuesday on Interstate 70 in western Ohio's Clark county.

Another person was killed in a crash on the Ohio Turnpike in Richfield at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Cleveland.com reported. The crash closed the westbound lanes of the Turnpike between Interstate 271 and Ohio 8, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

A crash on Interstate 80 Tuesday afternoon near Austintown, Ohio, involved more than 50 vehicles, WKBN reported. The interstate was closed in both directions between Salt Springs Road in Weathersfield to the Ohio Turnpike in Jackson Township, according to WFMJ. Two people were seriously injured, WJW-TV reported.

Westbound Interstate 76 also was closed in Mahoning County from Interstate 80 and State Route 46 to the Ohio Turnpike because of a crash, the Ohio Department of Transportation said. Multiple vehicles were involved, according to WKBN.

Earlier Tuesday, a separate crash involving a jackknifed tractor-trailer shut down eastbound I-76 west of the Meander Reservoir for about an hour, WFMJ reported.

Whiteout conditions also caused a pileup involving as many as 85 vehicles on State Road 8 north of Akron, Ohio, according to WEWS-TV. Five people had minor injuries, the report added.

A woman walking the half-mile from Chicago's Adler Planetarium to the Chicago Aquarium braces herself in the stiff wind and blowing snow off Lake Michigan, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

A bus bound for New York City flipped on its side on a snowy highway in Syracuse, New York, early Tuesday, the AP reported. Seven passengers had minor injuries.

(MORE: It's Not Winter Yet, but These Cities Have Already Had It Rough

Jackknifed tractor-trailers shut down a section of Interstate 90 in Pennsylvania overnight.

Monday morning, about 100 miles northwest of Detroit, two women, ages 81 and 64, and a 57-year-old man were killed in a head-on collision near the town of Charlotte, Michigan, according to WLNS.com. All three victims were traveling in the same car, while the driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized but is expected to recover, the report added.

Police told WLNS.com that the weather conditions were a factor in the deadly accident, as areas nearby had received up to 4 inches of snow.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said a traveler in northeastern Kansas was killed when an approaching truck slid on ice on U.S. Highway 56 near Overbrooke. The victim was identified by the AP as 8-year-old Cassie Ralston, of Scranton. She was a passenger in the vehicle that was hit head-on by the truck that lost control.

On Monday morning, an American Airlines flight slid off a snowy runway after landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

American Flight AA4125, which was flying from Greensboro, North Carolina to O'Hare, had been scheduled to land about 7:20 a.m. CST, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

A video from the plane, shared with Andrea Blanford, a reporter for ABC 11 in Raleigh, showed the plane rolling down the runway. The plane's landing gear snapped and the twin-engine Embraer 145 veered off to the left into an icy patch of ground, WBBM-TV reported. The right wing dipped into the ground.

The 38 passengers and three crew members were loaded onto buses and taken to the terminal, USA Today reported. No one was injured.

"That was our second landing attempt," passenger Shaun Steele told WLS-TV. "The first one, we went back up after we noticed conditions were bad. We made a loop for about 20 minutes... As soon as we landed, we could start feeling something a little off there and we tried to do a little turn and that's when we started going sideways."

The snowstorm, which has been named Winter Storm Caleb by The Weather Channel, caused hundreds of flights to be canceled and made travel difficult on roadways across the upper Midwest.

Snow fell from Colorado and southeast Wyoming to northern New England.

(MORE: Coastal Flooding a Threat in the Southeast

On Monday alone, more than 1,400 flights were canceled into and out of Chicago's two big airports – O'Hare and Midway – according to FlightAware.

Some Veterans Day events, including a parade in Aurora, Illinois, were canceled because of the snow.

The snow was making roads slippery, but traffic was lessened because of the Veterans Day holiday.

Snow and ice completely covered highways in central Iowa, state transportation officials told the Des Moines Register. A number of crashes blocked lanes on Interstate 80.

Officials in Green County and Rock County in Wisconsin reported several accidents, including one that closed southbound Interstate 39 near Beloit for about two and a half hours.


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