Motorists challenged by driving hazardsMany motorists in southwestern North Dakota found themselves in a slippery situation while trying to travel through winter weather Sunday and Monday, authorities say.
Many motorists in southwestern North Dakota found themselves in a slippery situation while trying to travel through winter weather Sunday and Monday, authorities say.
What started as a vehicle getting stuck in a snow drift on a bridge Monday morning turned into a four-vehicle pileup, said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Tony Huck.
A semitruck hit the vehicle, which was south of Bowman, and left the scene, Huck said. Two semitrucks that were unable to get around the vehicle then stopped behind it.
“A semi from behind rear-ended them and pushed them all together so it ended up being a four-vehicle accident,” Huck said.
Four people were injured in the chain reaction, Huck said. However, names of those involved were not released Monday.
“They were all treated with minor injuries,” Huck said.
At least 10 other motorists traveling on highways in the area were involved in minor crashes Sunday and Monday, according to the Highway Patrol.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Will Vance said the Interstate 94 exit at Beach was congested for about three hours Monday morning. Truckers trying to get off the interstate reportedly put traffic at a standstill.
“There’s two truck stops there and the traffic ended up being backed up all the way to the interstate and all the way over the top of the overpass and everything else,” Vance said. “We ended up directing traffic and trying to get trucks to move on that could move on that had enough fuel to go onto the next stop.”
No crashes resulted from the congestion, but Vance said the vehicles caused some trucks to be stuck at Beach for several hours.
Dozens of other motorists reportedly slid into ditches and were involved in minor crashes in Stark County and Dickinson due to icy roads.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation issued travel advisories for the area Friday through Monday.
“When we tell people no travel advised, they should probably adhere to that,” said Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy. “People should not be out there but for emergency calls because they’re putting their life in danger and they’re putting other people’s lives in danger.”
The no-travel advisory was lifted for the area Monday afternoon, according to a press release from the NDDOT. However, a travel alert remained in effect through Monday evening.
State Avenue in Dickinson was closed from 12th Street East to 21st Street East Monday because blowing and drifting snow made it impossible to travel on, said Dickinson Police Lt. Rod Banyai. It will remain closed until weather conditions improve, Banyai said.
School buses did not operate Monday. Classes at Dickinson Public and Catholic schools began at 9 a.m. Monday, school officials said.
Most children residing outside the city reportedly did not go to school Monday, but some were able to get into town.
“We always have some that make it to school,” said Doug Sullivan, DPS superintendent.
He was unsure Monday afternoon whether buses would be running today.
“I plan to wait and see what the weather is going to be and to get the information necessary for me to asses that if that needs to be assessed,” Sullivan said.