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Police: Wind, slick roads contributing to slideoffs, accidents

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Police are urging motorists commuting to work today to drive cautiously and reduce their speed because wind is blowing snow across slick roads and hampering visibility.

Overnight and this morning, police have been responding to a number of slideoffs, particularly on Interstate 65 between State Road 46 and State Road 58, said Lt. Matt Myers, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police have not encountered any injury accidents, he added, but slick roads and reduced visibility increase the risk for accidents to cause injuries.

"The main thing (motorists) need to do is slow down. Give yourself plenty of time to come to a stop," Myers said.

Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department deputies began dealing with accidents about 1 a.m. today, said Maj. Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the sheriff's department. They've responded to 16 accidents since that time. Most have been slideoffs or property damage accidents.

The only accident produced minor injuries, Noblitt said. That was at County Road 450N and Talley Road. The vehicle's air bag deployed in that instance.

Noblitt said the accidents have been spread around county roads, and not in one place in particular.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. canceled classes for all of its schools today. Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. was already scheduled to be closed today.

BCSC Superintendent John Quick said the closure was the result of several factors: slick roads, reduced visibility, area schools wanting to close and students driving in these bad conditions for the first time.

"We've got a whole generation of first-time drivers, a whole crop of 16-year-olds. The first snow (of the year) I'm more nervous about it because people have not experienced it," Quick said.

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