The nationwide death toll from Hurricane Sandy was added with two more northwest Ohio drivers due to icy bridges as the storm’s post-landfall aftermath swept into the lower Great Lakes region.
Authorities identified fatalities as Tina Goodwin, 56, resident of Wauseon and Dustin Brown, 22, resident of Bluffton. They were killed in separate collisions which happened on U.S. 20A and State Rt. 115, respectively. Their cars skidded on bridges made icy by snow and sleet that fell early in the day along the massive storm’s western edge.
Due to the storm’s high winds, scattered power outages happened in both northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan as fallen wires and trees blocked some roads. There were more significant blackouts in the Cleveland and Detroit areas.
According to the National Weather Service, despite huge waves crashing ashore, the Toledo area was spared from coastal flooding but winds were as strong as 45 mph and higher still along Lake Erie. Strong winds reached 52 mph at South Bass Island and 50 at the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.
Minor snow accumulations, all of which melted during the day, were reported south of Toledo, while snow and sleet mixed with rain in the city overnight. The wintry precipitation was enough to glaze bridges to the city’s south and west.
The Ohio Highway Patrol reported that Ms. Goodwin was traveling eastbound on U.S. 20A west of Fulton County Road 12 in York Township between Delta and Wauseon. She lost control due to the icy bridge and veered towards left of center, and collided head-on with an on-coming pickup. She was transported to the hospital but was pronounced dead at Fulton County Health Center, Wauseon.
The operator of the pickup identified as driver Jared McClarren, 59, resident of Wauseon, was treated at the same hospital. Troopers said that McClarren was wearing a seat belt but Ms. Goodwin was not, nor was Mr. Brown, who was declared dead at the scene after his car crossed the center line and collided with an on-coming van on Route 115 north of Kalida, near State Rt. 694.
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reported that the driver of the van was Gregory Bowers, 41, from of Stryker and his passenger both suffered minor injuries.
The Putnam County crash was reported at 8:24 a.m., while the one in Fulton County occurred about 20 minutes later.
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