Slick roads, high water cause mess

A quick accumulation of sleet and snow took drivers by surprise Friday evening, scattering vehicles off the road in multiple places throughout Washington County and beyond.

Rain that had fallen throughout the day turned to snow around 6:30 p.m. and began immediately sticking to roads.

There were no serious injuries, but the sheer number of small accidents kept law enforcement busy well into the night.

“They have a large amount of accidents right now,” said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks around 8 p.m.

Normally crashes within the county are handled by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but the sheriff’s office was handling some of the overflow Friday night, he added.

The accidents were scattered, he noted.

“They’re happening all over the county because the ice is starting to come,” he said.

As of 9 p.m., the sheriff’s office had referred at least 18 calls to the Ohio State Highway Patrol and handled three itself, said Mincks.

Two of those accidents had a squad dispatched for minor injuries, but neither required transport, he added.

Some of the calls the post responded to included two cars sliding off the road on Ohio 550, one on Ohio 7 and one on Interstate 77. The vehicle on I-77 slid into the median and a relative of the driver picked her up and transported her to a local hospital to have her ankle examined, according to a dispatcher with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The local state patrol dispatch in Cambridge, which handles calls for Washington, Morgan, Athens and Hocking counties, had received between 20 to 30 calls by 8:30 and none of those were in Morgan County, said the dispatcher.

There were a few cars off the road in Morgan County, but no accidents caused injuries or damage to the cars, said an employee of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

The night had quieted down significantly by 9:15 p.m., said Marietta Police dispatcher Toni Roach.

“It was a lot of calls about the same cars,” she said.

Most of those care had slid into ditches, and there were no serious injuries, she added.

Glendale Road was a particularly bad patch and as usual, bridges and steep hills were problematic. A semi truck had trouble at the Washington Street Bridge, she said.

“A semi had trouble making the turn at the Washington Street bridge, but they got him turning and going back the right way,” said Roach.

There was also some minor flooding in at least two areas in the county, said Mincks.

Stanleyville Narrows Road in Stanleyville and Main Street in Macksburg were flooded around 8 p.m.

In anticipation of the bad weather, Morgan Local Schools let out two hours early Friday.

Superintendent Lori Snyder-Lowe said she wanted elementary students home before 2 p.m. when the ice and snow was forecast to hit.

In West Virginia, law enforcement also remained busy responding to numerous minor car accidents, including several on Interstate 77, one of which included a Jeep Cherokee that landed on its side.