KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Icy roads, wind and snow persistently falling put Missouri Highway Patrol Troopers out in full force during 2014’s first major winter storm in the metro.
“The roadway might look clear, but with the freezing temperatures there’s always that possibility of black ice. It doesn’t take very much to lose control,” said Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Collin Stosberg.
In the 13 hours after the snow began falling, troopers in and around the metro responded to nearly 300 calls.
“Our biggest concern is people that become stranded and that’s what we’re out here doing in the next few days, just helping people should they need help to get back on the roadway or get them to a safe place,” said Stosberg.
Almost half of those calls were slide-offs or abandoned vehicles off the road. The majority of others were non-injury crashes.
“The majority of crashes that we’ve had so far is people driving too fast for the conditions,” Stosberg said.
Driving too fast may have been the problem for a driver of a truck on I-70 hauling a trailer full of horses. He initially blamed other wrecked out vehicles.
“What happened? Just hit some ice?” the trooper asked the driver of the truck.
The driver responded: “No, wreck right in front of us. I dodged them and made the ditch.”
In front of the truck, a driver in a small car became stuck in a deep snow drift. On the other side of the highway, a SUV had slid down a steep embankment
“That guy in the horse trailer was going by too fast,” a witness to the slide-off told the trooper.
Troopers had to merge traffic down to one lane, causing a major backup so a tow truck could pull them out. As of 9 p.m., only two injury crashes had been reported, both minor. Extra troopers will continue to monitor the highways around the metro for the next couple of days.