The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 17, 2014

Snow creates perilous terrain

Slick roads result in two dozen accidents

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — Snowy conditions wreaked havoc on city, county and state roads Thursday morning, causing a number of accidents.

The snow started around the time of the morning commute for residents, creating slick conditions as motorists headed to work. By noon, about 2 inches of snow had fallen in the Danville area; less than an inch had been forecast for the area.

Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dennis Wood said the snow and resulting slick road conditions resulted in around two dozen minor accidents and vehicles sliding off the road on county roads as well as Interstate 74. One minor injury was reported from the morning’s crashes.

One large accident in Vermilion County involved a semi-tractor trailer on Interstate 74 at the 206 mile marker, Wood said. The crash — which was handled by Illinois State Police troopers — forced law enforcement to shut down eastbound traffic on the interstate until around mid-morning. A few accidents also were reported in Danville during the morning.

Ironically, the 2 inches of snow received Thursday caused more problems for drivers than the 10 inches of snow the area received on Jan. 5.

“This little incident this morning was way worse than the big storm,” Wood said, noting people were not as aware of this clipper system compared to the large storm that garnered national attention.

In addition to the interstate problems, deputies handled slide-offs and accidents on U.S. Route 150 as well as near Michigan Avenue and County Road 2000N/Winter Avenue. Wood said he heard of some villages having wrecks at stoplights.

The snow isn’t over yet. According to the National Weather Service in Lincoln, the next clipper system to drop snow on the area is expected to pass through the region this weekend. Forecasts call for areas along and north of Interstate 74 to receive around an inch of snow Saturday and Saturday night before the system moves out of the area.

Up to this point, Danville has received 28 inches of snow for the season, surpassing the average of 20.8 inches. Thursday’s 2 inches puts Danville at almost 17 inches of snow for the month, 6 inches off the record of 23 inches of snow that fell in 1979.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting average precipitation for the remainder of winter in the area.