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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Freezing rain causes accidents, closures

  • Freezing rain caused numerous fender-benders, slide-offs and early school dismissals in Missouri on Friday.
    The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory warning of the conditions that expires at noon Saturday. Total accumulations of snow and sleet will generally range from 4 to 6 inches in Phelps and surrounding counties by Saturday.
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  • Freezing rain caused numerous fender-benders, slide-offs and early school dismissals in Missouri on Friday.
    The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory warning of the conditions that expires at noon Saturday. Total accumulations of snow and sleet will generally range from 4 to 6 inches in Phelps and surrounding counties by Saturday.
    Problems developed after rain started Friday morning in Missouri.
    Black ice developed quickly because surface temperatures were below freezing, said Ryan Cutter, a meteorologist with the NWS office in the Kansas City suburb of Pleasant Hill.
    By late Friday morning, the Missouri State Highway Patrol already had responded to numerous accidents, including a fatal crash in southern Phelps County that claimed the life of a teenager — Charity M. Adams, 16, of Licking (See related story).
    Icy road conditions led to numerous other crashes in Phelps County along Route F and Route CC. Icy roads also are to blame for a 10-vehicle accident Friday morning on Highway 17 in Crocker.
    Josh Hall, of the Crocker Fire Protection District, said the accident occurred after a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) truck slid on icy road and ended up being centered on the road, impeding traffic coming from both directions.
    After that, cars coming from around the turn on both directions struck the truck.
    "Once those cars struck the truck, the people in them got out of their vehicles to seek assistance," Hall said.
    At that point, three pickup trucks also came to the scene, and the drivers chose to crash into a steep embankment instead of causing more accidents.
    "It was a mess," Hall said. "Those pickups going into the embankment probably saved some lives today."
    Six patients were transferred to the General Leonard Wood Army Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood. Three of those patients had moderate to severe injuries, according to Hall.
    The Crocker Fire Protection District, Pulaski County Sheriff's Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Gene's Tire & Service Towing and Jack's Wrecker & Recovery all responded.
    The winter weather also led the Phelps County R-3 School District in Edgar Springs to cancel classes Friday. Newburg R-2 Schools dismissed early.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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