December 24, 2010
Road conditions have improved in the Wichita area, after a night of accidents blamed on the ice. At 6:30 a.m. Friday, Wichita's temperature was above freezing. Light precipatation was falling as rain. Slick spots were reported to the North and West of Wichita.
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Authorities say slick conditions have contributed to a steady stream of accidents across several counties.
On I-135 near Pawnee, a semi collided with a truck. The accident shut down all northbound lanes of traffic between Pawnee and Harry as crews worked to clean up the mess. No serious injuries were reported.
On the Turnpike near 143rd and Central, a pickup slid off the roadway and into a ditch. Both people in the truck were wearing their seat belts and were not seriously injured.
These were just two of many accidents to keep emergency crews busy throughout the evening, as traffic is also heavy for the holiday weekend. This, after state and Wichita city crews have been laying down pretreatment for much of the past week.
"It does throw a wrench into many of the travel plans, but we'll hope the best for this one. And we do need the moisture so that's a good thing, but it's coming at a bad time," said Kansas Department of Transportation Spokesman Tom Hein on Wednesday.
The Emergency Accident Reporting Plan is in effect for Wichita and Reno County. When EARP is in effect, if no one is injured in an accident, and the vehicles are able to be cleared from the roadway, drivers should just take down information and wait to file a police report.
Authorities in Cowley and Butler Counties are also encouraging drivers to stay off the roadways if possible.