Storms across the United States' midsection delivered freezing cold and as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow, bedeviling drivers on slippery roads and closing schools from Texas to Indiana. At least 10 people were killed in road wrecks in Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky over two days. In Texas, a mother and son died in a fire sparked by an improperly installed wood-burning stove.
In Chicago, a Southwest Airlines jet trying to land in heavy snow Thursday evening slid off a runway at Midway International Airport, crashed through a fence and skidded into a busy street, where it struck at least two vehicles.
A 6-year-old boy in one of the vehicles was killed, authorities said. He was among eight people hurt on the ground. Two passengers on the plane suffered minor injuries, Aviation Department spokeswoman Wendy Abrams said.
No injuries were reported on the plane, but at least one person was seriously hurt in a vehicle on the ground, an official said.
The eastbound storm system was expected to leave a half-foot (15 centimeters) of snow in central Illinois and 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 centimeters) in the Chicago area, where by late afternoon about 30 flights had been canceled at O'Hare International and Midway.
In Indiana, dozens of schools dismissed students early, and community groups and churches canceled events.
The heaviest snow, up to 10 inches (25 centimeters), fell along the Interstate 35 corridor into Kansas City, said a National Weather Service forecaster. Temperatures in the city fell into the single digits (below zero degrees Celsius).
Numerous vehicles slipped off roads or got into fender benders, troopers said. On a snow-packed interstate near Edgerton, Kansas, a 31-year-old woman's pickup slid across the median Wednesday and collided with another vehicle, killing her and her 4-year-old daughter, authorities said, reports the AP. I.L.