Ohio News Briefs

Snow causes 81-vehicle highway pileup; no serious injuries

MOUNT GILEAD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a blinding, late-afternoon snow squall caused an 81-vehicle pileup on a major highway in central Ohio, but no one was seriously hurt.

The crashes left vehicles crunched, tipped over and scattered at odd angles across lanes of Interstate 71 on Tuesday evening. The mess blocked the highway for hours in Morrow County, roughly 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Columbus.

The State Highway Patrol says the traffic involved included 11 commercial vehicles. At least one tractor-trailer ended up on its side.

State troopers didn’t immediately provide a full count of how many people were hurt, but said none of those injuries was considered life-threatening.

Investigations begin into Ohio fertility clinic malfunction

CLEVELAND (AP) — Outside investigations are beginning into what went wrong at an Ohio fertility clinic where thousands of frozen embryos and eggs may have been destroyed.

Two accreditation organizations and the Ohio Department of Health say they’ll look into the clinic run by University Hospitals near Cleveland.

It’s not clear yet what caused the storage tank failure and a second one in San Francisco on March 4.

The College of American Pathology in Chicago is among those investigating.

The group tells The Plain Dealer that the Ohio clinic could lose its accreditation if it’s found out of compliance. But it says it doesn’t have the power to shut down the clinic.

The Ohio Department of Health is investigating whether University Hospitals is in compliance with federal rules for Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Defense: Exclude suspect’s comments at trial for fatal fires

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys for an Ohio man charged in two fires that killed nine people on his street say his statements to police should be excluded at trial in the potential death penalty case.

Fifty-eight-year-old Stanley Ford, of Akron, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges in an April 2016 fire that killed two adults, and a May 2017 blaze that killed two adults and five children.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports investigators questioned Ford seven times. A judge is considering whether Ford’s statements should be excluded at trial, which hasn’t been scheduled.

Defense attorneys argue Ford wasn’t properly advised of his rights, was improperly questioned and didn’t voluntarily give his statements to police.

Prosecutors say detectives followed the right procedures. They claim Ford talked with investigators to learn what they knew.