A snowplow driver wreaked havoc Sunday on the Ohio Turnpike, hurling heavy snow across the median that led to multiple collisions resulting in at least 12 injures and more than 40 damaged vehicles.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the plow was traveling westbound just before 2 p.m. when it caused snow and ice debris to be thrown into the eastbound lanes, WJW reported.
The snowplow driver, identified as 54-year-old Timothy Rakay, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. None of the injuries reported are considered life-threatening, WKYC reported.
“Our snowplow operators are provided with extensive training and provided with some of the best equipment in the industry to perform their job duties. Our track record in snow and ice operations over the past 66 years speaks for itself,” a spokesperson for the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission told WJW.
“The Ohio Turnpike is one of the safest highways in the nation and is especially known for its ability to meet the demands of the most severe weather events. This is an isolated incident involving a single operator,” the spokesperson added.
Sgt. Ray Santiago with the Ohio State Highway Patrol told WKYC that any potential charges against Rakay are pending review by the Erie County Prosecutor.
According to the turnpike commission, Rakay has been employed by the agency since 2015, WJW reported.
Meanwhile, the commission advised motorists affected by the incident to contact their individual insurance companies to address vehicle damage and immediate transportation needs. Those affected may also file a property damage claim with the Ohio Turnpike, the TV station reported.
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