Snow causes pileups on I-75, crashes on I-64

Lanes closed for three hours

mmeehan1@herald-leader.com, kward1@herald-leader.comJanuary 3, 2012 

Bursts of snow left motorists sliding around unexpectedly on roadways throughout the Bluegrass on Monday.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Northern Kentucky were closed for about three hours Monday afternoon after two pileups involving more than 70 vehicles.

The state police said one pileup occurred on I-75 near Dry Ridge in Grant County near the 160 mile marker.

That pileup actually was three separate crashes involving 30 vehicles, state police said. There were no serious injuries.

Another pileup occurred at mile marker 167, just north of Crittenden in southern Kenton County, and involved 41 vehicles, according to a news release from the Kenton County Police Department. Tow trucks were called in to remove 23 of those vehicles.

Eight people were injured and six were taken to local hospitals in that collision, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, the release stated.

Interstate 75 closed around noon, and early estimates indicated it could be closed for up to seven hours; however, the highway reopened about 3 p.m.

Snow and wind also contributed to a chain reaction of crashes on eastbound I-64 in Rowan County between the 144 and 145 mile markers, according to a state police news release.

The crashes occurred at 12:35 p.m. and shut down I-64 intermittently until about 3 p.m., state police said.

Several people were taken to area hospitals, including two who were transported to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and were in fair condition Monday night.

Meteorologist Chris Bailey said the snow showers and squalls were expected to continue early Tuesday, primarily hitting northern and eastern parts of the state.

Motorists were advised to use caution because roads could be slick.

Meteorologist John Denman of the National Weather Service in Louisville said scattered snow bursts were occurring across the Bluegrass on Monday. These sudden storms can decrease visibility to about one-half mile.

He said the storms come up suddenly and might catch drivers unaware.

For example, a snow burst dropped a half-inch of snow in Cynthiana during a short period Monday.

Twitter and Facebook were filled with pictures resulting from these sudden storms from Lawrenceburg to Corbin to Berea.

The snow was causing school closings not too long after students were dismissed for the day. The first closing, Jackson County, was announced just before 5 p.m. Monday.

The National Weather Service in Jackson warned that "an energetic upper level disturbance" was swinging through the Ohio Valley, bringing scattered storms across the state, with up to three to four inches of snow possible in mountains of Eastern Kentucky mountains.

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