Ice on Roads a Hazard
As the weather on the the Grapevine turned rough in the early hours of Friday, Jan. 5, California Highway Patrol reports told of a big rig bumper car derby that closed down all southbound lanes for over an hour.
“A first big rig hit ice and overturned in southbound lanes, a second big rig then jack-knifed to close the remaining two lanes,” Mark Ehly, CHP information officer for the Fort Tejon office, explained.
He added that at about 2:30 a.m. January 5 CHP officers were conducting escorts across the Grapevine: “We turn our lights on and run across all four lanes so motorists follow us through at a safe speed—the main hazard in snow, ice and sleet is speed,” Ehly said. “We pretty much have to babysit them out there cause it seems some drivers don’t get the clue to slow down…they think it is OK to drive 70-80 miles per hour even though its snowing and road conditions are slick.”
Ehly reports that the first big rig “claimed he hit ice northbound” and went through the guard rail into southbound lanes, “leaving a couple lanes open.” He said that as they were working to get that rig cleared, another big rig southbound skidded and jack-knifed at about 4:40 a.m., closing the remaining two lanes to southbound traffic.
Meanwhile, black ice posed hazards on surface streets throughout the Mountain Communities, calling for slow speeds and extreme caution. Several motorists slid through the four-way stop signal at Frazier Mountain Park Road and Monterey Trail.
The Boys & Girls Club Winter Camp closed Friday due to icy conditions on Park Drive, leading toward Frazier Mountain Park Community Center.
Walter observed that “from the post office to where the tree is in the middle of the road [near the site where the new library is to be built] is a straight sheet of ice. I saw a minivan slide backward all the way down; I was afraid it would hit something and flip over. They were sliding at a pretty good clip.”
Craig Pope, director of the Kern County Roads Department said Friday that the county is responsible for maintaining Park Drive, and that road crews plowed and sanded the road on Friday.
“Ultimately,” he said, “we need to create a drainage system there to keep the snow melt off the road, so it doesn’t re-freeze and create a hazardous surface.”
Diane Duquette, director of Kern County libraries, said the building plan for the new 10,000 square foot Frazier Double Big Rig Wreck Ice on Surface Roads a Hazard Continued from page 1 get that rig cleared, another big rig southbound skidded and jack-knifed at about 4:40 a.m., closing the remaining two lanes to southbound traffic. Meanwhile, black ice posed hazards on surface streets throughout the Mountain Communities, calling for slow speeds and Park Library structure needs to include working with the roads department to install drainage on Park Drive.
–Reported by Patric Hedlund
This is part of the January 12, 2007 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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