Another round of snow, sleet, ice and rain battered North Texas this weekend. On Friday, schools were closed again, residents lost electricity, flights were cancelled, bridges became impassible and roads continued to be a traffic nightmare. Cars slipped and slid across slick ice patches as drivers, unfamiliar with navigating winter road conditions, lost control of their vehicles. Some cars became stuck in snowdrifts. Others ended up spinning off the road. Still others collided with each other. Fortunately, many of these drivers experienced minor, although still frightening, fender-benders. Some drivers, however, sustained injuries in serious auto crashes.
North Texas Winter Roadway Nightmare
Between midnight and 8 p.m. last Friday, Fort Worth police had responded to over 200 automobile and truck accidents, including 57 serious crashes and 25 hit-and-runs. During the same period, Arlington police also assisted almost 200 drivers, 33 of them in major accidents. By noon on Saturday, Dallas law enforcement attended to almost 200 crashes, including more than 100 major wrecks.
In West Fort Worth, two people tragically died Saturday night when their SUV lost control as it plunged into Mary’s Creek at I-30 and Camp Bowie Boulevard West. Oral surgeon Robert Weinstein, 71, who lived in Addison, and his dental assistant, Abigail Resendiz, 21 could not be saved by divers. Fortunately, another passenger was able to escape from the submerged vehicle.
Police officers faced treacherous conditions as they responded to hundreds of calls, and at least one officer was injured in an auto accident. The policeman was slowing down for a red light at the intersection of Audelia Road on Royal Lane early Saturday morning, but then lost traction as he attempted to accelerate when the light turned green. His patrol car spun into the back of another car. Both the officer and the other driver were treated at an area hospital.
Two semis and 13 cars were involved in a pile-up on U.S. Highway 75 in the North Dallas suburb of Melissa. Police received reports of close to 40 cars that skidded off the road, but avoided adding to the pile-up. Although the multi-vehicle collision resulted in lengthy road closure, drivers suffered only minor injuries.
Sadly, Winter Storm Sparta is being blamed for four traffic deaths in other states — two in Laclede County, Missouri; one in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and one in Marshall County, Oklahoma.