Snow-covered roads cause dozens of crashes

What started as a busy weekend for plows is turning into a hectic one for police.

Significant snowfall Friday and Saturday has caused roads to turn slick, resulting in dozens of slide offs and crashes.

Police say the weather conditions played a role in two fatal crashes.

Around 10:45 p.m. Friday, police say 40-year-old Christopher Perkins, of Mishawaka was killed in a two-car accident.

It happened just east of the intersection of Cleveland and Juniper roads.

Police say Perkins was headed westbound in his Pontiac sedan, when he lost control, spun several times and hit a Chrysler minivan traveling eastbound.

The occupants of the mini-van, Andrew Zawisza, 76, and Terry Zawisza, 74, both of Granger, were transported to Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Although toxicology test results are pending, it's believed alcohol, speed and the icy roadway were all factors in the fatal crash.

"Even in perfect conditions, a high rate of speed is not going to be anybody's friend," said Lt. Matt Blank. "And, when you add in ice and snow, it just magnifies it much more and makes it more dangerous. It definitely played a role."

The icy roads were also a factor in a fatal crash in Marshall County Saturday afternoon.

It happened around 1 p.m., at the corner of State Road 17 and S. Quince Rd., near the Plymouth Country Club. That's roughly four miles southwest of downtown Plymouth.

Indiana State Police say a 1992 Honda sedan was traveling eastbound on State Road 17 when it lost control on the snow covered roadway. The vehicle spun into oncoming lanes of traffic and slammed into a utility pole off the north side the road.

Responding police and EMS crews found two adult siblings and their elderly mother inside the car, with heavy passenger side damage.

Paramedics transported back seat passenger Linda Ward, 46, of Culver, to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth. There doctors pronounced Ward dead, due to massive head injuries.

Driver Ralph Ward II, 44, of Culver, and front seat passenger Caroline Ward, 70, also of Culver were injured in the spin-out crash. Both were treated and released from the hospital.

Both the driver and his mother were wearing seat belts. The deceased back seat passenger was not.

In addition to the two fatal accidents, police all over Michiana responded to dozens of accidents where drivers walked away with minor injuries.

In one case, a toddler was injured.

Around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, 46-year-old David Beliles was traveling westbound on CR 20, east of CR 11 in Elkhart County.

Police say he lost control on the snow-covered road, crossing over the center line into the eastbound lane and hitting a Chevrolet van.

32-year-old Alicia King and 47-year-old Charles Britton were inside that van, along with a 2-year-old girl.

King and Britton were taken to the hospital with minor chest and neck pain.

The 2-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with serious face and head injuries.

Police say she wasn't in a proper child safety seat.

Beliles was issued a citation for driving left of center.

King was issued a citation for improper child restraint for a child under the age of 8.


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