Wintry mix causes accidents, delays in morning commute

A wintery mix of precipitation caused at least two dozen accidents, include a couple resulting in injuries, during the morning work commute in Bartholomew County.

Just before 6 a.m., the first mix of sleet and ice hit the Columbus area, according to Columbus Public Works director Bryan Burton.

At 6:14 a.m., the first crash involving injuries took place southwest of town, along the curves of South Gladstone Ave., according to Bartholomew County 911 director Ed Reuter.  Initial reports indicate a 10-passenger vehicle flipped over during that crash, Reuter said.

About a half-hour later – at 6:41 a.m. – an eastbound pickup truck on E. 25 St. slid out of control, and smashed into the side of the bridge over Clifty Creek, just east of Petersville. The extent of injuries from both crashes, as well as the identity of the drivers involved, have not been released at this time.

Around 10 a.m., a number of crashes were reported on U.S. 31 north of Columbus, including an overturned vehicle in a ditch near Kenny Glass.

County crews began clearing rural roads at about 6:41 a.m. this morning, according to Bartholomew County Highway engineer Danny Hollander.

In Columbus, three more city garage employees began treating streets at 5 a .m., while an additional three-man crew was brought in at  6 a.m., Burton said. The remaining crews began clearing streets at 7 a.m. – just as heavier amounts of snow began to fall with the sleet and ice, which “always makes it even slippier,” Burton said.

After the snow became part of the mixture, there were 22 fender-benders and slide-offs taking place in all areas of the county, but none resulted in additional injuries, Reuter said.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.