Icy road conditions led to a chaotic pileup on U.S. 35 Tuesday morning in which a Dayton Fire captain was struck by a vehicle.
Dayton Fire Chief Herbert Redden said veteran firefighter Barry Cron was thrown 20 to 30 feet when one of a dozen cars involved in the wreck struck a vehicle he was standing next to, knocking him to the ground.
Cron had arrived to help as sliding cars started piling up on eastbound U.S. 35 near Gettysburg Avenue just before 5:30 a.m. He was speaking to a victim inside a vehicle. That vehicle was then struck by another, pushing it into the first and then into Cron.
Watch the incident as captured by a dash-cam on board a nearby police cruiser.
The father of three, who's been with the fire department since 1992, was transported to Miami Valley Hospital where he was being treated for what the chief described as non-life-threatening injuries. Redden said Cron's family was with him at the hospital and he will be placed on medical leave.
Cron is assigned to Station 13 on the city's west side and was promoted to the rank of captain in November.
The person Cron was checking on was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported from the pileup that eventually involved 12 cars.
Three vehicles were also involved in a crash on eastbound U.S. 35 near Abbey Avenue. U.S. 35 was closed in both directions between Abbey and Liscum Drive as crews responded to the crashes and treated roads with salt.
Brock Connor of New Lebanon was headed to work in Dayton when he found himself in the middle of the traffic mess.
"We were doing 35 and you hit the brakes and you just started sliding, just a sheet of ice," he said.
Cars ended up in ditches, against fences and poles, and on their sides.
Redden said firefighters and police on the west side of town are used to icy conditions on U.S. 35, where the bridges frequently ice up faster than any others around the city.
He said there is no one but nature to blame for these accidents. "The streets were nice, except when you got to a bridge," he said.
Fred Stovall, director of Public Works for the city of Dayton, said it's impossible to know how much salt will be needed on roadways, or when it will be needed, noting that the city stopped salting by 9 p.m. Monday because "there was no need for that. The roads were just wet."
The city did keep a worker monitoring road conditions until about 4 a.m., but a small amount of new snow caused the bridges in that area to ice over again by 5:30 a.m.
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