Police said up to 79 vehicles were involved in a crash that killed at least one person on Interstate 275 in Colerain Township, Ohio. Photo courtesy of WCPO.
COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCPO) - A 12-year-old Ohio girl who was killed in a large pile-up on Interstate 275 Monday has been identified.
Authorities said Sammy Reagan, a sixth-grade student from Kings Mills, died as a result of the 86-vehicle traffic accident, which shut down the roadway for hours.
"I know this news makes all of us very sad and that is OK," said Shelley Detmer-Bogaert, the principal at Columbia Elementary School, where Sammy was a student. "Sammy was a wonderful young lady and we will miss her,” she said during an early-morning school announcement.
Authorities shut down both directions of I-275 around 11:30 a.m when a snow burst of white-out conditions caused the massive pile-up in the westbound direction at the 35.8 mile marker between the Colerain Avenue exit and Hamilton Avenue exit.
Eastbound I-275 reopened around 5 p.m. and westbound I-275 reopened around 6:30 p.m.
Reagan was struck by a cable median barrier after she exited a damaged vehicle and was standing in the median, according to police. She was transported to Mercy Fairfield Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Ten different emergency agencies responded to the scene and there were at least 20 transports to local hospitals, but none have life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Authorities said two other children, ages 4 and 5, were transported to local hospitals.
Officials also say at least four of those injured in the crash are listed in critical condition.
The first crews on the scene used the jaws of life to free four people from three separate cars, Colerain Township Fire Captain Darrain Edwards said.
Several passenger vehicles were trapped underneath multiple semi trucks when paramedics arrived at the scene, according to officials.
Officials also said that a steel cable that ended up in the middle of the roadway that is usually used to stop cars from crossing the median made a bad situation worse after the initial few collisions.
Authorities say the major gust of snow took visibility down to zero on the interstate, which caused the massive accident.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Wichita residents braced for a large tornado, called catastrophic by the National Weather Service, on Sunday.