New video shows deadly 51-car pileup on Ohio Turnpike; prosecutor says it was an ‘act of God’

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:55 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released new video of that deadly 51-car pileup back on December 23, as part of a public record request. This comes after the Erie County Prosecutor decided that no charges would be filed against any of the drivers involved.

On the heels of the three-month investigation, Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter determined the massive pileup was the result of an ‘act of God’, when weather conditions changed suddenly, impacting visibility and road conditions. The first impact came when traffic began slowing down because of the blinding blowing snow and ice.

The horrific winter storm that brought blizzard-like conditions happened as people nationwide were headed to see loved ones for the Christmas holiday.

The video sadly shows one vehicle after another slamming into semi-tractor trailers and cars in front of them, even as many swerved to miss already crumpled vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike at the 106-mile post between State Route 53 and State Route 4 in Sandusky County, and spilling over into Erie County.

An army of first responders raced to the scene that day trying to help anyone trapped or injured, as the video shows trucks piled on top of other vehicles because of the impact.

Several vehicles related to the fatalities were under semi-trucks that had to be lifted by a crane.

On body cam video of one State trooper, a firefighter points out there’s a person who is trapped in a vehicle that is still talking, and the trooper responds, “that’s good.”

At one point you hear a trooper ask a firefighter how he is doing, in the face of such a horrific scene. The firefighter responds he’s okay, and the trooper says, “just checking on you.”

The crumpled metal and shattered glass at the massive scene took more than a day to clean up and had a section of the turnpike shut down and traffic rerouted, as first responders worked to get everyone to safety despite, the wind, ice, blowing snow and below freezing temperatures.