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5 die in crashes as storm sweeps Southeast

December 15, 2010 12:39:00 AM PST
Five people have died in accidents on icy roads as a winter storm sweeps through part of the Southeast.Three people were killed in two separate crashes involving pickups that flipped in northern Mississippi early Wednesday. Police reported dozens of other highway accidents and several school districts canceled classes.

In southeast Alabama, a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old high school student slid out of control on an icy road and hit an 18-wheeler. Two teens were killed and a third has been hospitalized in critical condition.

Dozens of north Alabama schools called off classes or dismissed students around lunchtime. Near Birmingham, drivers stood in the cold waiting for police to arrive after a series of wrecks on icy Interstate 20.

A snowstorm stranded in southern Ontario, Canada created a life-or-death situation for a Michigan family, who found themselves trapped in a vehicle for 27 hours.

John Zintmaster, his wife Barbara and their daughter Kathleen were driving through Southern Ontario when wind and snow shut down the highway.

After 27 hours, officials rescued the family with snowmobiles.

"The way we got out, they came with snowmobiles and grabbed us and put us on the back of the snowmobiles and took us to a spot where the Army helicopters landed, and it was by the grace of a God that we're safe," Zintmaster said.

The family says it got help from a stranded truck driver who also had to be rescued.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.