It was a dangerous commute for many people in Michiana this morning. Black ice caused dozens of accidents and crashes in the area Monday.
In some cases, police say these icy conditions are much more dangerous than the snow-- because people don't consciously think to drive slow when they don’t see the snow. Road crews say many of these accidents can be prevented with just a little extra caution.
Salt and sand trucks were out in full force Monday morning, trying to melt the ice that had already caused numerous accidents and slide-offs throughout the area. “We've probably had about 25 crashes this morning, since about 6 o'clock, most due to the ice, started out south, moved out to Granger area, and now we've had about three on 933 here,” says Captain Dean Chandler, with the St. Joseph County Police.
On 933, just south of Douglas, a semi-truck slid off the road. “One car in front of me, just slammed on his brakes, then I slammed on my own- then the floor is so slippery, so we just slipped to the other side,” says the truck’s driver Steven Opoku.
Opoku admits he was at fault and police ticketed him for driving too fast in the weather conditions. “We haven't had much snow this year and people still think they can drive normal speed limit,” says Opoku.
“Just because you can't see snow doesn't mean there's ice on the road and obviously these roads are iced up,” adds Captain Chandler.
And in Elkhart, just before six Monday morning, 17 vehicles were involved in a crash on County Road 17, just north of 45. Elkhart County Police say it was again a case of drivers going too fast for the conditions.
County officials are also asking drivers to give the salt and sand trucks plenty of room to allow them to get their job done.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff's department tells us the ice-related accident calls tapered off this later in the morning as the sunshine came out. Police are urging people to take it easy on the roads, especially since this winter weather will be around for awhile.