Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Snowstorm Creates Treacherous Morning Commute

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

Region 3 Patrol 700 S. Stratford, Meridian 83642
(208) 846-7550
Fax (208) 846-7520

For Immediate Release: December 22, 2009 5:00 p.m.
Contact: Captain Steve Richardson

Treacherous conditions along Interstate 84 from Boise to Mountain Home on Tuesday morning made for a tough commute for many. Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. the Idaho State Police investigated 11 slide-offs and 8 crashes between mileposts 57, the eastern Boise city limit, and milepost 90, the first Mountain Home exit. Three of the crashes caused injuries to the drivers or other occupants.

At approximately 6:12 a.m., troopers investigated a one-vehicle rollover eastbound on Interstate 84 at milepost 66 near the East Boise Port of Entry. Adam Bell, 25 of Mountain Home, was traveling eastbound on Interstate 84 in a 2002 Dodge Durango when for reasons still being investigated he lost control of the vehicle causing it to roll. Bell was transported to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. This crash was investigated by Trooper Chase.

At 7:24 a.m., a trooper came across a jack-knifed semi-truck that was partially blocking the left lane of westbound Interstate 84 at milepost 74, near the Simco Rd. interchange. The left lane of traffic was blocked for approximately 90 minutes while officers and tow operators worked to removed the semi-truck.

At 7:41 a.m., a trooper investigated a one-vehicle rollover eastbound on Interstate 84 at milepost 81, about 9 miles west of Mountain Home. Jose A. Mendez, 29 of Bliss, was traveling west on Interstate 84 in a 2001 Ford F-150 pickup with seven occupants when the vehicle left the roadway into the median and overturned. At least one of the passengers was ejected from the vehicle and all of the occupants were initially transported to Elmore Medical Center via ground ambulance, and three were later taken to St. Alphonsus RMC in Boise with critical injuries.

At 9:37 a.m., a disabled semi blocked the right lane of traffic for approximately 30 minutes eastbound I-84 at milepost 61 near the East Boise rest area. Other traffic lanes were blocked at various locations throughout the morning due to crash investigations and tow trucks working to recover vehicles.

The Idaho State Police reminds motorists to drive for conditions by reducing speeds and substantially increasing following distances when driving on snow and ice-covered roads, and being certain your vehicle, including its tires, are in good condition.

Also, remember not to use your vehicle?s cruise control feature when slick road conditions are present. It is surprising how many crashes are investigated where cruise control was being used on snowy or icy roads. By the time the driver realizes that their vehicle is losing traction, it is often too late to disengage the cruise control to try and regain control of the vehicle.

As always, one of your absolute best defenses is to wear your seat belt and ensure that passengers in your car do the same.