Ice-covered roads cause more than 80 collisions in Lexington

A driver cruised slowly, searching for parking by Commonwealth Stadium. The treacherous conditions closed Fayette County Public Schools.
A driver cruised slowly, searching for parking by Commonwealth Stadium. The treacherous conditions closed Fayette County Public Schools. Herald-Leader

Snow, sleet and ice coated Central Kentucky roads Friday, causing at least 81 accidents and resulting in seven injuries, police said.

No life-threatening injuries were reported. Crews continued to apply salt to roads into Friday evening.

Although Friday's weather caused complications, Saturday was expected to be sunny and mostly clear, with temperatures in the high 20s, according to the National Weather Service. Roads are likely to remain slick in spots because of the cold.

Warmer temperatures are expected heading into next week, however. WKYT Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey forecast highs in the mid-30s on Sunday, in the high 40s on Monday and in the mid-50s on Tuesday.

The state Transportation Cabinet did what it could on Friday to combat the freezing rain, spokeswoman Natasha Lacy said, noting that state roads in Central Kentucky had been pre-treated and that salt trucks were dispatched at 3 a.m. Friday. Lacy said the district that includes Central Kentucky had plenty of salt trucks and equipment on the roads.

"We have all our forces out," Lacy said. "We don't have a shortage of equipment or salt. We are well stocked. We've got plenty of drivers and plenty of salt," she said.

She said contractors supplement highway maintenance crews to ensure that roads are in the best possible condition.

For city streets in Lexington, crews were brought in at 4 a.m. Friday, said Sam Williams, director of the Division of Streets and Roads.

Major thoroughfares and downtown area streets were pre-treated Thursday with a brine solution. "The pre-treatment does get us results," Williams said.

Williams said some icy spots had been reported, but he said the overall the process went smoothly.

"Pavement temperatures are below freezing. If an area has not been treated, it's going to be slick," Williams said.

The city is following a winter snow plan that was announced in November. The plan lists priority streets and outlines how the street crews will respond, Williams said.

Ice and snow caused problems on the interstates around Lexington, especially on I-64 near the I-75 split, city officials said.

A Lexington fire truck overturned en route to several wrecks in Fayette County near that area. Battalion Chief Joe Best said the fire truck flipped onto its side on westbound I-64. Best said the area where the fire truck flipped was covered with serious patches of ice.

"It's pretty bad out there in a 4-mile stretch," Best said at the time.

Emergency crews stayed busy much of the morning Friday. There were reports of black ice on some roads, causing problems especially on overpasses.


■ A Greyhound bus with 19 passengers slid off I-65 at Cave City, but no injuries were reported, Greyhound spokesman Timothy Stokes said.

■ No injuries were reported in a 10-vehicle pileup on I-65 south of Elizabethtown.

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