Snowy morning triggers nine traffic accidents

Posted: Friday, December 10, 2004

Thursday morning's snowy commute didn't seriously injure anyone, but it kept police busy.

Police responded to nine accidents with at least some damage between 7:51 and 10:17 a.m. Lt. Walt Boman said the number of accidents was higher than he could remember this season, and most of the incidents were clearly weather-related.

It's troubling because there is always the potential for more serious consequences, Boman noted.

"If someone slides into a guardrail and bounces back into traffic, they are at the mercy of other drivers," he said.

With temperatures warming during the day, the commute home was less eventful. Sgt. David Wrightson said police were investigating just one report from the afternoon. Apparently a car slid off Davis Road, a side street in the Lemon Creek area, he said.

Most of the morning accidents police reported were on Egan Drive, which can't be avoided by people driving downtown from the Mendenhall Valley or Lemon Creek areas. Police reported:

• At 7:51 a.m. on inbound Egan in the Twin Lakes area, a 17-year-old boy was driving a 1992 Honda Civic that reportedly struck a 1991 Plymouth, driven by a 50-year-old woman.

• At 8:09 a.m. on inbound Egan in the Twin Lakes area, a 30-year-old woman was driving a 1996 Honda that collided with a 1985 Ford truck, driven by a 54-year-old man. The woman was cited on a speeding violation.

• At 8:24 a.m. on inbound Egan near Norway Point, a 1991 Ford Explorer, driven by a 41-year-old woman from Petersburg was reported in the ditch.

• At 8:40 a.m. on inbound Egan near Sunny Point, a 50-year-old woman reportedly lost control of the vehicle she was driving and left the roadway.

• At 8:48 a.m. on inbound Egan near Willoughby Avenue, a 2001 Ford, driven by a 34-year-old woman, reportedly collided with a 1985 Mercedes, driven by a 52-year-old man.

• At 8:53 a.m. on inbound Egan near Yandukin Drive, 17-year-old boy driving a 1995 GMC Jimmy reportedly lost control, causing the vehicle to leave the road.

• At 8:54 a.m. in the 9000 block of Mendenhall Loop Road, a 1990 Plymouth, driven by a 33-year-old woman, reportedly slid into a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban, driven by a 35-year-old woman. Police cited the driver of the Plymouth on charges of driving without a license and carrying no proof of insurance.

• At 9:07 a.m. on inbound Egan and Channel Vista, a 1988 Ford, driven by a 25-year-old woman, reportedly stuck a 2004 Subaru Legacy, driven by a 33-year-old man. Police cited the woman on charges of careless driving and carrying no proof of insurance.

• At 10:17 a.m. on Glacier Highway and Jordan Avenue, a 1995 Chevrolet, driven by an 80-year-old man, reportedly slid into a 1991 Mazda, driven a a 32-year-old man. A Dodge Neon, driven by a 37-year-old man, also was reported damaged in the accident. Police cited the driver of the Chevrolet on a charge of failing to yield.

Boman said it is more than just a good idea to consider slowing down when conditions are bad. Even a driver driving below the posted speed can get a speeding ticket if conditions are poor.

"The operator of the vehicle is required to consider road conditions and weather conditions and operate with due care," he said.

Experience in dealing with adverse situations is another factor, he said. Parents may consider that some mornings it's best for younger drivers to take the bus or get a ride to school.

Everybody should check the conditions in the morning and give themselves more time to get where they're going, he added.

"It's winter in Alaska," he said.

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