Some weeks ago we discussed the dangers of freezing rain and black ice accumulation on roadways. This morning at about 5 a.m., twenty-one people were injured when they were involved in a twenty-six vehicle pile up on Highway 40 (I-64) near Vandeventer in St. Louis. An unexpected amount of freezing rain and the resulting black ice which forms at temperatures at or around the freezing mark, left travelers in the metro region vulnerable to these unanticipated dangers as they drove to their morning destinations. At least one person was listed in critical condition and at least one over the road tractor-trailer was involved.
Although only one person was listed in critical condition, fire department personnel responding to the scene remarked that it was amazing that more people were not seriously injured. Apparently, the ice cause a tractor trailer to jack knife across the roadway and as vehicles heading east crested a hill and finally saw the obstruction, they were simply unable to avoid the collision.
Tom Blair, MoDot’s St. Louis assistant district engineer remarked that the section of highway involved in the crash is typical of black ice conditions with the roadway elevated and cold air able to circulate beneath it, making it more susceptible to icing than the roadway around it.
Significant crashes occurred as well in other areas of the metropolitan area. Other roadways reported closed due to accidents or icing as reported by the Missouri Department of Transportation included: the three right lanes of I-55 at Butler Hill Road; the eastbound Interstate 70 ramps to Interstate 170; all lanes of Interstate 270 southbound at Ladue Road; and the westbound Highway 40 ramp to southbound I-270 among others.
If you have suffered injury in a vehicle accident, weather related or otherwise, contact us for a free consultation regarding your best available options for both your vehicle damage as well as any injuries which may have occurred.