Snow Dusting in St. Louis Results in Missouri and Illinois Crashes
Posted on January 13th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
Missouri and Illinois highways were a dangerous place during the Thursday morning commute. While very little snow accumulated, the highways and side streets were jammed and numerous accidents occurred. A 41-year old man was killed when he lost control of his Pontiac Grand Am on Interstate 55. He crashed into a guard rail. He was killed in the accident and his wife, a 30 year old passenger was hospitalized. Portions of Interstate 64/40 and Interstate 70 were closed during the commute which caused most commuters to experience one and two hour delays.
A 50 year old New Baden man was killed in an Illinois crash with a tractor trailer. The man was driving a passenger car when it collided head on with a semi truck. Authorities believe the car crossed into the path of the truck. The truck driver was not injured.
In Illinois, drivers experienced numerous crashes and most involved cars sliding off the roads but some were rollovers.
So why the traffic delays and numerous crashes if we received so little snow? According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Kevin Keith of the Missouri Department of Transportation apologized to the drivers in Missouri stating , “We didn’t do a very good job and my reaction to that is I’m disappointed. You should expect more from us, and you’ll get it.” According to sources, apparently while snow was forecasted for the St. Louis area on Wednesday night, MoDOT decided not to pretreat interstates with a salt brine solution in large part because of the storm it expected. Instead, crews spread rock salt on area highways when the first waves of snow began to fall after 3 a.m. Thursday. Temperatures dropped and crews prepared to cover the roads with chemicals, however, it was too late. MoDOT said traffic backed up earlier than normal which prevented crews from spreading the needed chemicals in time.
All of us in St. Louis dread the first snow covering of our roadways and we have been fortunate this year to have a mild winter thus far. This time last year, we had already experienced numerous snowfalls and many more crash injuries.
We want all drivers to be safe at all times and especially careful when inclement weather hits. If you can avoid driving in inclement weather, then stay home. While many of us can not always chose to stay off the roads, remember to keep some safety tips in mind:
- Travel at a slower rate of speed.
- Leave early for your commute
- Monitor the news to determine how well roads are being cleared before making your decision to depart
- Be certain your car has been serviced
- Keep gas levels above a quarter of a tank
- Equip your car with an emergency kit including some of the following items
- Cat litter
- Reflective clothing
- Blankets and/or coats for warmth
- Patience—patience should be brought along in every road trip. While it is easy to become frustrated with traffic backing up, remember there may be unfortunate drivers and passengers who are injured in crashes causing your delay. Your day has been altered but not your life
Snowfall and bad roads have just begun for residents of St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois drivers. Practice safety and patience and we will get through yet another St. Louis winter.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident or a semi truck accident, it is wise to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. Consultations are always free and it is better to know all of your options before proceeding with an insurance claim. Call Zane T. Cagle at The Cagle Law Firm 1(314) 276-1681
SOURCE: Leiser, K. “Drivers Furious, MoDOT Apologetic Over Clogged Roads”, St. Louis Post Dispatch 1/13/12