PAINESVILLE, Ohio – A series of crashes involving up to 40 vehicles during snow squalls Tuesday shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 east of Cleveland.
The accidents closed an 11-mile stretch of the interstate just before noon. State troopers expected the highway, about 30 miles east of downtown Cleveland, to remain closed most of the afternoon.
Initial reports indicate the crashes began with a large pileup, followed by more collisions behind it, said Capt. Carl Dondorfer of the Lake County sheriff’s office.
A few people were taken to the hospital, but no serious injuries were reported, authorities said.
Photos from the scene showed pickup trucks, cars and sport-utility vehicles sandwiched against a guardrail and facing different directions.
Interstate 90 links Cleveland with Erie, Pa., and Buffalo, N.Y. Traffic on the road was especially heavy because of the Christmas holiday, Dondorfer said.
The area where the interstate was closed is just south of the city of Painesville and in a part of northeast Ohio known as the “snow belt.”
Strong winds coming across Lake Erie often dump unusually large amounts of snow across that area.
“This is the area we tend to get several crashes when we have snow squalls,” Dondorfer said.