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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Road conditions remain hazardous; caution urged

  • Most local residents are saying they can’t ever remember a white-out blizzard like the one on Christmas Eve that blanketed the area in varying inches of snow and ice and literally stopped traffic on numerous roads, including Interstate 35.

     


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  • Most local residents are saying they can’t ever remember a white-out blizzard like the one on Christmas Eve that blanketed the area in varying inches of snow and ice and literally stopped traffic on numerous roads, including Interstate 35.
    The residue from the winter storm phenomena continued to make traveling risky business Friday and Saturday, and authorities said snow, ice and slush will likely cause problems for road-weary travelers early today.
    On Saturday, Capt. Ronnie Hampton, Commander Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop F, headquartered at Ardmore, said Troop F received hundreds of calls Christmas Eve night reporting minor mishaps and troopers actually worked 30 collisions.
    “Numerous vehicles were abandoned on the shoulder of the road and even in the roadway. There was severe traffic congestion and long waits. There were numerous stranded motorists — some were picked up by troopers and the National Guard and taken to local motels or stores and some spent the night in the vehicles,” Hampton said.
    And although the sun shone Christmas Day, travel was still treacherous. A California woman and a 6-month-old baby boy were victims of a single-car I-35 crash near Ardmore. The patrol said the 30-year-old Pleasant Hill woman was taken by ambulance to Mercy Memorial Health Center in Ardmore shortly after the 4:46 p.m. crash at the 30 mile marker. She was later airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas in serious condition with multiple injuries. The infant boy was also taken to the local hospital and then air lifted to Children’s Hospital in Dallas in stable condition with a leg injury.
    The mother and son were passengers in a 2009 Hyundai driven by Chhaya Sunil (SIC), 29, Pleasant Hill, who was not injured.
    The patrol said the family was southbound on I-35 when the driver lost control due to icy conditions. The car went over a guard rail, through a fence and landed on another guard rail on a county road. Seatbelts and child restraints were in use. The cause of the crash was listed as unsafe speed for road conditions.
    Hampton continued Saturday to describe I-35 and other area highways as “still slick in spots.
    “We are still having vehicles running off the road. Some of those are due to speed when they hit a slick spot.”
    His prediction for Saturday night and early this morning was, “Expect what melted to refreeze overnight.”
    What about all those vehicles motorists were forced to abandoned during the blizzard?
    Hampton said many are still exactly where they ended up Thursday night, on the shoulder of roads and in ditches.
    “We will attempt to get everyone back to their vehicles before we begin to tow them,” Hampton said late Saturday afternoon.
    And it’s just not on the interstate and area highways where drivers are being urged to remain cautious. Sgt. Eric Hamblin, Ardmore Police Department Public Information Officer, said Saturday that the snow, slush and ice that has covered city streets may appear to be just messy but, “It is going to be slick and hazardous and a motorist can loose control quickly.” Hamblin said those who don’t have to drive should stay indoors. Those who do have to get behind the wheel need to be alert for icy surfaces.
    Page 2 of 2 - “And drive slowly. Many times the road can look clear when it really has a glaze of ice covering it,” Hamblin said.
    Marsha Miller
     221-6529
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