Road conditions perilous

 

The current winter storm has caused havoc for drivers and resulted in many law enforcement officers responding to assist stranded vehicles.

Sgt. Dan Martin of the Montana Highway Patrol said Tuesday there were many calls Tuesday, mostly of vehicles sliding off the roads. 

“My guys are getting tired,” he said of the patrol officers.

There were a couple of rollovers, but they usually were the result of sliding off the road. Slide-offs have been caused by drivers being briefly blinded by the snow or by road conditions, he said.

“Driving conditions are horrible in Custer County and Rosebud County,” Martin stressed.

“My advice is, if you don’t have to go, don’t go,” he said of traveling.

Dispatch Supervisor Heather Roos said the calls were “constant all day long.”

She said there were 19 accidents reported to the local dispatch from Monday night, when the storm started, through Tuesday night for the Montana Highway Patrol, Custer County Sheriff’s Office and Miles City Police Department.

Those calls included people sliding off roads, asking for assistance for being stuck, or being involved in vehicle accidents.

Only one accident had minor injuries reported, Roos said.

“The snow isn’t really the issue, it’s the ice,” Martin said. He went on to explain that the Montana Department of Transportation has cleared all the snow off Interstate 94, but because it had rained before it snowed, there is a lot of ice. 

“It’s rough, bumpy and really jerks your vehicle around,” he said.

He had to drive to Forsyth Tuesday and he couldn’t go any faster than 40 mph. 

“It was miserable, and the two lanes are just as bad,” he added.

Wednesday morning the calls had slowed down, and Martin thought the driving traffic had slowed due to the conditions.