Red Cross: Sunday’s 40-car pile up shows importance of preparedness

The Red Cross says drivers should have blankets, gloves, food and water in their cars, in case of an emergency

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Road conditions can change in an instant, and all of Sunday night’s accidents were proof of that.

The 40-car pileup on the State Route 711 connector left drivers stranded for hours as crews worked to clean up the scene.

Ludt’s Towing took 10 cars to its Boardman location. Those cars had smashed-in doors, missing front ends and hoods that looked like an accordion.

Ludt’s Towing General Manager Frank Cretella said it was a chaotic scene.

“Anytime you have more than five-six cars involved, it becomes a problem of which ones to move first, so we can get people out, and which ones to move last, which aren’t in the way of first responders,” Cretella said.

The American Red Cross thought it might get called out to help, but the organization didn’t get that call.

Monday, the Red Cross was reminding drivers why it’s so important to have blankets, gloves, food and water in the car, because you never know when you’re going to need it.

“That mentality, it’s never going to happen to me, but last night, it just proved how many people it affected when that weather started happening and when those accidents started to occur,” said Kristen Gallagher, disaster program specialist at the American Red Cross.

Gallagher says if you have an extra blanket in the house, put it in your car along with a pair of gloves. It’s also a smart idea to keep some snacks in the car and bottles of water.

WKBN talked to the Red Cross last January about other items you should have in your emergency winter survival kit. AAA also recommended routine maintenance on your car prior to the start of the winter weather.