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Icy roads lead to hazardous driving

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By Bryan Marshall

The weather outside was frightful on Tuesday, Dec. 23 for motorists and local first responders.

Drizzling rain and freezing temperatures led to icy roadways and countless wrecks.

A pickup truck overturned on the U.S. 25 bypass at 4:30 p.m., beginning an onslaught of calls that did not end until late, said Dry Ridge Fire Chief Robert Bruin.

“A lady came across the bridge, didn’t know it was slick and lost control and the truck ended up on its top,” he said. “Luckily, she was fine. The roads were still pretty good, but the overpass was solid ice. From there, it just went downhill.”

It took the Dry Ridge Fire Department about two hours to get to a wreck on Warsaw Road.

Bruin said the department’s big truck was sliding on the ice so they had to park it and go to the wreck with their smaller truck.

“Luckily, nobody was hurt that bad,” he said. “By the time we got there, the people in the car had already left. It was probably the worse I’ve seen since 2003. The ice storm in 2003 was bad. We didn’t have all the ice this time. It was just the roads. You really couldn’t tell because the roads looked fine.”

With all emergency responders taking victims to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Bruin said that the hospital filled up fast.

DRFD eventually was able to transport a patient from the hospital to Lexington around 10 p.m. before taking another north around midnight.

Making matters worse, Interstate 75 was shut down both directions for awhile after a wreck around mile marker 150 northbound.

“I finally got out of here at about 2 a.m. that night and, going home, the northbound was still real slow,” Bruin said. “Even at 2 a.m., there was a lot of traffic on the road.”

The Williamstown Fire Department did not see as much action as they responded to only three calls.

The department assisted during two fender bender accidents and a resident who slipped on the ice.

“We didn’t have that many runs. We didn’t have anything major,” said Chief Les Whalen. “But, it was pretty slick there for about two and a half hours.”

While responding to calls, the Crittenden Fire Department saw first hand how slippery the roads were for drivers.

The department’s truck slid off the road into a ditch on Violet Road.

“We came off a slight curve and the front end slid off the road and over into a ditch,” said David Owens of the Crittenden Fire Department. “There was no damage to the truck, but we had to wait for a wrecker to pull us out. We sat there for about four hours.”

Owens described the road conditions as “probably close to being about the worst I’ve ever seen.”

“The news kept saying it was going to warm up and rain,” he said. “Well, we got that freezing rain and it didn’t warm up quite as quick as they were saying. Nobody was really prepared for it.”