June 29, 2016

Partly sunny

Snow-covered highways take toll

A Chippewa Lake man died Friday after he lost control of his vehicle and slid into oncoming traffic on state Route 18 near Beach Road in Granger Township.

Trooper Dan Kumor of the Medina post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said Robert Krause, 38, was driving his 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe east on Route 18 when he lost control at about 11:35 a.m.

Krause’s vehicle spun across two lanes of traffic and into the path of a westbound 2002 International straight truck.

mg_a1cl5x022610accident2mk Debris from an accident on state Route 18 in Granger Township lie in the road Friday while crews work to extricate Robert Krause, 38, of Chippewa Lake, from his Chevrolet Tahoe. Krause, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at Medina Hospital, the Ohio Highway Patrol reported. (Maria Kacik / Gazette)

Kumor said rescue crews extricated Krause from the vehicle by cutting off the Tahoe’s top. Krause was taken to Medina Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Kumor said.

The driver of the truck, Ronald Marcinko, 46, of Medina, also was taken to the hospital for facial injuries, the OHP reported. His status was not available at presstime.

The OHP reported neither driver was wearing his seat belt and the accident remains under investigation.

Kumor said the accident clogged state Route 18 for several hours.

Accidents and stranded cars dotted Medina County roadways Friday amid a winter storm that passed through Northeast Ohio.

A dispatcher with the OHP said the Medina post was busy dealing with crashes throughout the day.

“Accidents have just been in bursts all day long,” she said.

The Medina County Sheriff’s Office declared a level two snow emergency Friday morning, which is issued when roadways are hazardous with ice and drifting snow.

Buck Adams, director of the Medina County Emergency Management Agency, said Sheriff Neil Hassinger makes the decision to raise the levels after talking to the EMA, the county’s highway engineer’s office, sheriff’s deputies and other officials about road conditions.

Adams said it’s important for vehicles to stay off the road during level two emergencies unless they have to be there.

“As we get into this particular type of situation, we’re going to see individuals that can’t make it up a hill somewhere and they’re going to clog up the highways so the snow plow operators can’t do their job,” he said.

“It’s going to be really tough today. It’s going to be slow going. But at least we can keep the roads open for (people who need to use them) and so the emergency vehicles can get through,” Adams said.

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@ohio.net.