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Winter storm turns deadly in Kentucky

18-month-old child killed on icy I-24 bridge

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) are investigating several collisions that occurred Wednesday night due to ice buildup on the Tennessee River Bridge on Interstate 24 in Marshall County. An 18-month old child died in one of those collisions.

According to a KSP report, while a trooper was on scene investigating a different accident, five additional accidents occurred in the vicinity. Seven total collisions were reported involving 12 tractor-trailers and six passenger cars.

The report went on to say that one of these collisions was the result of a 2022 Freightliner truck pulling a 2006 Wabash semi-trailer rear-ending a 2003 Freightliner truck pulling a 2011 Wabash semi-trailer.

Related: Tips for truckers: How to weather a snow squall

An 18-month-old passenger in the first tractor-trailer was ejected from the truck during the collision and then struck by a 2008 BMW 535. The Marshall County Coroner declared the child deceased at the scene. The child reportedly was not secured in a car seat at the time of the collision. Once the investigation into the collision is complete, it will be presented to a prosecutor for decisions regarding any potential criminal charges.

The storm responsible for the icy conditions continued to disrupt surface and air transportation Thursday, impacting areas from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley. As of Friday morning, it was moving through the Northeast.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to more than 400 crashes from midnight Wednesday to late Thursday afternoon. Those included 52 injuries but no fatalities. Troopers also responded to almost 400 stranded motorists and more than 1,000 calls for service due to the storm. Among the incidents was a police vehicle that was struck on Interstate 70 about 40 miles east of Columbia.

Two police officers in Northlake, Texas, were hit by an 18-wheeler Thursday morning. Both were transported to the hospital and listed in stable condition, according to KXAS-TV. Officials told the network the officers were in separate vehicles responding to a crash on Interstate 35 near the Texas Motor Speedway when the semi jackknifed and hit both police cruisers.

Just like the storm, travel woes moved east Thursday. By late afternoon EST, more than 450 flights had been canceled for Friday at Boston Logan International Airport, according to Nearly 200 flights were canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, 140 at LaGuardia Airport in New York City and about 100 at Reagan National Airport near Washington.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain will impact the Northeast on Friday, fading Friday night. The National Weather Service has winter storm watches and warnings posted from Maryland to Maine. An ice storm warning remains in place from central Pennsylvania to western Maryland and northern West Virginia, where up to one-half inch of ice accumulation is possible.

The highest snow amounts, potentially exceeding 12 inches, will blanket areas of upstate New York and New England. Light amounts of sleet and ice could develop along the Interstate 95 corridor — just enough to cause potential issues.

Officials in New York City are advising residents to brace for potentially hazardous travel conditions, especially during the Friday morning commute, and to avoid driving if possible.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events and radar, 8 a.m. ET, Feb. 25, 2022. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

“With a potential wintry mix arriving in New York City Thursday night into Friday morning, New Yorkers should prepare for slippery road conditions, especially during the morning commute,” NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said in a news release. “We encourage all New Yorkers to use mass transit, allow for extra travel time, and exercise caution.”

More than 700 salt spreaders are being deployed throughout the city.

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on multiple interstate highways in the state.

“Winter weather is expected to begin Thursday night and early Friday morning, which could make driving conditions treacherous, (particularly) for the Friday morning commute. The travel restrictions are being coordinated with neighboring states. In addition to the commercial restrictions, all motorists are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel Friday morning,” the New Jersey Department of Transportation said in a press release.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 76 from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.
• Interstate 80 from Cleveland to Teaneck, New Jersey.
• Interstate 81 from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to the New York-Canada border.
• Interstate 90 from Cleveland to Boston.
• Interstate 95 from Philadelphia to the Maine-Canada border.

Other notable weather

A series of winter storms will impact the Pacific Northwest and the southern portion of British Columbia starting this weekend. The storm may continue through the middle of next week.

The first of these storms will impact the region Saturday night and Sunday, with 2 additional storms during next week. Each system will produce very strong winds in coastal and inland locations, with gusts of at least 50 mph.

In the higher elevations, including some of the mountain passes, look for snowfall totals of 12 to 24 inches. In lower elevations, especially along the coast, rain totals could hit 3 to 6 inches, leading to possible flooding.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Where are truckers most at risk from February tornadoes?

Truckers honored as Highway Angels for feeding snowbound drivers

Worst 10 states for winter fatal traffic crashes


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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.