Snow covered roadways cause accidents, few injuries in Callaway

Five people died on Missouri roads from winter weather on Monday, but none were in Callaway County.

The state Highway Patrol’s crash report website only reported one major accident in Callaway County from the winter storm that brought several inches of snow to the region.

That accident happened at 1:25 p.m. Tuesday on Interstate 70, one mile west of Route D. Law enforcement said Jordan L. Hopper, 20, of St. Louis was driving too fast for conditions, which caused her to travel off the left side of the roadway through the median and into eastbound lanes.

A 2001 Volvo, driven by Robert L. McCullough, 61, of Decatur, Ill., then struck Hopper’s vehicle. She reportedly had moderate injuries and was transported by ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

McCullough had no reported injuries.

Inside Fulton city limits, 13 accidents were reported from noon Monday through Tuesday afternoon — none involving injuries.

“Most of them were slideoffs where we were there to help people get back on the road,” Maj. Roger Rice said. “We had a few fender-benders on private property and the streets.”

Rice attributed the lack of injury accidents to cautious driving.

“Usually the first snow is when we have the most accidents,” he said. “But after the first one, people slow down a bit. Accidents do happen, of course.”

The high number of calls between 4-6 p.m. caused accident calls to stack up a bit, according to Rice, but night-shift officers were called in early to help with the rush-hour traffic.

The Callaway County Sheriff’s Department does not officially work accidents, but assists the Highway Patrol with wrecks on county roads. On Monday, they worked 10 accidents in the county, including two incidents of sliding school buses.

One was a Jefferson City bus that was having problems sliding backwards in Holts Summit. The County Roads and Bridges Department responded to help get the bus back on track.

According to Kathy Wright of Fulton Public Schools, the district’s transportation director reported that a couple of buses slid off the road during the early dismissal drop-offs Monday, but no injuries were reported.

With cold temperatures behind the snowstorm, Rice cautioned drivers to continue with careful driving.

“It’s going to refreeze, and when it does, it’s going to be glare ice,” he said. “People need to be extremely cautious and they should get home in one piece with no problems. It’s people that get careless and in a hurry that cause problems.”

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