Deadly crash claims life of 19-year-old Kansas woman amid Midwest snowstorm as Detroit Metropolitan Airport closes

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
January 23, 2019, 11:27:31 AM EST

A winter storm turned tragic as it spread from the Central states to the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, snarling travel and forcing many school closures and delays.

A deadly accident occurred on Interstate 70 in Kansas during snowy and icy conditions, the Associated Press reported. The victim, identified as 19-year-old Ashlen Leigh Lemon, died after her car struck a guardrail.

In a Twitter video, Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Ben Gardner called the accident "devastating." Gardner also urged motorists to consider the safety of other drivers.

The treacherous conditions forced I-70 to be closed for several hours.

winter storm kansas 12219

Motorists wait for Interstate 70 to open after it was closed near Manhattan, Kan., due to icy conditions as a winter storm moved through the area Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Icy conditions forced the closure of Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Tuesday night, with the airport remaining closed into Wednesday morning.

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The airport eventually reopened shortly after 10 a.m. EST.

Nearly 150 flights scheduled for arrival or departure into the airport had been canceled as of Wednesday morning, according to FlightAware.

Airport officials said in a statement that maintenance crews had been working around the clock.

Nearly 800 flights were also canceled in Chicago at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday. Due to snow and icy conditions, some arriving flights into O'Hare were being delayed nearly 90 minutes on Wednesday morning.

In Wisconsin, dozens of school closures and numerous travel delays for morning commuters were reported, according to the AP.

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