Slick Return To Work, School Monday

By: WOWT 6 News Email
By: WOWT 6 News Email

Drivers across the Omaha metro area had a slow, slick ride to work Monday due to icy conditions.

It was the perfect recipe -- more than an inch of rain Sunday, before temperatures plummeted to below freezing. On Monday, ice covered bridges and side streets.

So many fender benders were reported, Omaha police stopped taking accident reports.

Some of the worst areas reported were Dodge Street, between 18th and 25th, 37th and L Street, 118th and L Street, 42nd and Center, and 102nd and Blondo.

We spoke with one motorist out on the slippery streets who told us, “If they could keep up with the roads in a more timely fashion then maybe these accidents wouldn’t happen.”

That was a common theme Monday morning.

Kalisha Wells lost control of her car on the ice.

“I was driving down this street. The car just started sliding and I let off the gas and it keep swerving and swerving and went up on the curb and almost went off this cliff. The road was like it was icy, it was icy in the middle part and there was like sides of ice on the ground.”

Orange trucks did finally hit the streets but critics say they arrived too late. City officials did not argue.

The Public Works Department’s Scott McIntyre said, “There were some small isolated areas that were very bad and most of the streets were dry or fairly drivable. So this was a situation where I wish they were better but we tried to get out there a quickly as possible but there was a very short period of time where, unfortunately, street conditions deteriorated and created some pretty poor conditions.”

McIntyre said it was difficult to respond to this storm. Crews had been switched from winter hours to spring hours and the timing of the storm worked against both city crews and the motoring public.

The city crews hope to get back to the more seasonable work of filling potholes instead of dealing with snow and ice.

Four deaths have been blamed at least in part on the weather.

Omaha Police say a motorist driving too fast for conditions died in a crash Sunday night.

Just after 9:45, a Chrysler van was turning onto Highway 75 from the Storz Expressway when the driver lost control and the van hit a guard rail.

The driver, identified as 58-year-old Roy Tiller, was thrown from the vehicle and died.

Another fatal crash related to the weather happened approximately 15 miles northeast of Norfolk. An elderly couple died when their pick-up truck went out-of-control on an icy road near Hoskins.

Virlyn Lukens and his wife, Marvel, died in the crash.

The driver of an SUV was injured and taken to a Norfolk hospital.

South of Lincoln a woman died when she was ejected from a crash on an icy street. The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said Jessica Lyons- was helping her husband and another man deliver newspapers. Their Jeep went out of control and crashed into a ditch. Deputies said no one in the Jeep was wearing a seat belt.

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