FREMONT, Ohio -- The Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper who was pinned between two vehicles during a 50-car pileup last week on the Ohio Turnpike is improving and expected to eventually return to work, an official said.
Trooper Andrew Clouser, 29, of the patrol's Milan post, had surgery on Saturday at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo for a broken leg, Sgt. Scott Powers said. He also suffered broken ribs and other injuries, Powers said.
"He's doing well," Powers said. "He's in good spirits."
Clouser has been moved out of intensive care, but officials do not know when he might be released from the hospital, Powers said. Clouser is expected to recover and eventually return to work, Powers said.
He was hurt when whiteout conditions caused crashes involving multiple vehicles Wednesday on a 2-mile stretch of the Ohio Turnpike in Sandusky County. A snowstorm created hazardous driving conditions and numerous crashes on roads throughout the region.
Clouser was investigating a crash on the Turnpike around 1:25 p.m. when he was struck by a vehicle and pinned between two vehicles at 2:05 p.m., according to the patrol. He was conscious and able to notify dispatchers of what happened.
That crash then started a series of pileups.
One, which included an estimated 16 vehicles, killed two people: Hannah Matheny, 20, of Parma, who was a passenger in a Ford Focus, and Grzegorz A. Piwowarczyk, 42, of Palatine, Ill. who was driving a commercial vehicle, according to the patrol.
Another pileup involved about 20 vehicles. Janice M. Robb, 66, of Schererville, Ind. died in that crash. She was a passenger in a Chevy Venture.
The crashes remain under investigation.
Drivers not involved in the pileups were stranded on the highway.
More than 20 state troopers and supervisors, joined by multiple emergency medical services and fire departments, checked on everyone, said Sgt. Vincent Shirey, patrol assistant public affairs commander in Columbus, on Wednesday.
Those who needed food and warmth were taken to turnpike service plazas, he said.