Watch snow plow launch spray of slush into oncoming highway traffic, leading to a 40-car accident

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Michael Lemon
Michael Lemon
  • A plow operator in Ohio in the US was caught on camera launching snow and ice over a highway median on Sunday.
  • The slushy mess damaged approximately 40 vehicles and caused some personal injuries.
  • The turnpike commission immediately placed the driver on administrative leave, pending investigation.
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Ohio's Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission has suspended a snowplow operator after the driver directed snow and ice over the highway median and into oncoming traffic on Sunday.

The incident spread across several miles, causing accidents involving roughly 40 vehicles and injuring 12 people, law enforcement officials told local media.

Video from truck driver Michael Lemon shows passenger cars travelling down an otherwise gray and dreary road scene when an arc of slush suddenly emerges, blanketing everything with a thud and causing one vehicle to spin off of the embankment.

Ferzan Ahmed, executive director of the Turnpike Commission, said in a statement that the plow driver was immediately taken off the shift, tested for drugs and alcohol, and placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.

Ahmed also said that Turnpike Commission employees have special training and equipment for clearing snow and ice, and the highway has one of the best safety records in the nation. The commission is a private entity, separate from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"This was an isolated incident involving a single operator and is not representative of our employees or our operations," Ahmed said.

The incident is certainly unusual for a profession that requires a commercial drivers' license and additional training, but transportation officials have raised concerns about having enough drivers to operate safely.

Back in December, transportation officials in Washington, Montana, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania told the Associated Press they were facing an ongoing shortfall of licensed and trained snowplow drivers this winter.

"When you're plowing the road you need to know where the bridge abutment is and where the expansion joints are so you don't hook that with a plow," Washington state's Department of Transportation spokesperson Barbara LaBoe said.

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