Icy conditions lead to multiple collisions Sunday morning on SR 16

November 24, 2013 

As many as 10 cars crashed in multiple locations Sunday morning in Tacoma, as some freeways and overpasses saw the first ice of the season.

Perhaps the worst crash was on westbound state Route 16 near Sprague Avenue. Five cars collided on the icy overpass.

At the scene, Washington State Trooper Guy Gill said, “We had several eastbound 16 to I-5 as well. Just as we were at this scene, this lower ramp behind me here, vehicles were spinning out, striking the barrier; we dealt with three or four collisions over here.”

In the five-car collision, one driver was transported to a local hospital with injuries of unknown severity.

“He stayed in his vehicle. And he’s very, very lucky he did that, because the next car coming along, the green car behind us, struck that vehicle. Because if he was outside of his car we could easily be dealing with a fatality today,” Gill said.

In addition to ice, dense fog made for limited visibility.

Katie Lavell and her husband drove into Tacoma early Sunday and immediately noticed the fog.

“Couldn’t see anything. Plus, because it was so cold all night, then the roads are going to be wet,” she said.

Authorities suggest reducing your speed while driving in these weather conditions and keeping a greater distance from the car ahead of you.

“I trust my husband. I trust his driving. But you can’t depend on other people being that careful,” Lavell said.

The Washington Department of Transportation put a sand mixture on many of the problem spots Sunday morning to create traction and help melt the ice faster. They may also be pre-treating some of the overpasses before temperatures drop again Sunday night.

The same frost and ice is expected Monday morning.

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