Icy SW ND roads cause numerous accidents
Icy road conditions caused a number of accidents Friday and generally made travel difficult for motorists in western North Dakota.
As of 6 p.m., more than two dozen accidents were reported by various agencies in the region, most of which were blamed on the slick roadways.
As of Friday evening, a no-travel advisory remained in effect for Interstate 94 between Bismarck and Dickinson, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation website. The Highway Patrol rerouted traffic from I-94 to Highway 10 east of Richardton after a semi jackknifed at around 3 p.m., blocking eastbound motorists for more than an hour.
"The roadways are extremely icy right now," HP Sgt. Chris Messer said. "We've seen multiple crashes. We're advising people not to drive unless it's an emergency. If you do need to travel, drive slowly and make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle."
Messer said he put his unofficial count at nearly a dozen accidents that were responded to by the HP. Messer said he knew of one injury that was crash-related, but could not elaborate.
In Dickinson, roads were icy all day, causing 13 known accidents in the city as of early Friday afternoon, although there were no serious injuries reported, according to the Dickinson Police Department.
"That's what we've been looking at," DPD Capt. Dave Wilkie said, "a lot of accidents."
One of the DPD's own squad cars was involved in an accident that was reported to the Stark County Sheriff's Office, Wilkie said. Due to the ice, the car was unable to stop in time, although Wilkie reported no major damage to the vehicle.
The Stark County Sheriff's Office had responded to four accident calls as of Friday evening, Capt. Dean Franchuk said. Agencies expected more calls as the night progressed. Southwest North Dakota was expected to receive up to 6 inches of snow Friday night into Saturday, making conditions even worse as the snow would cover the already glazed-over roads.
South of Dickinson, Amanda Reimer of the Adams County Sheriff's Office reported just two "fender benders," both in Hettinger. No travel was being advised in northwest North Dakota Friday as snow began to fall early in the day and was expected to fall over the weekend.