EVANSTON — Winter weather hit with a vengeance on Thursday, Nov. 29, just in time for the annual downtown Main Street Open House and Light Parade event. The combination of snow, ice and traffic at the end of the workday and start of the downtown festivities kept local law enforcement extremely busy.
Lt. Ken Pearson with the Evanston Police Department said the EPD responded to 12 car accidents that day, not counting vehicles that slid off the road or were stuck. He said the average number of car accidents is nine every two weeks.
Only one of the 12 accidents resulted in any injuries, which consisted only of bumps and bruises. Pearson said that particular accident occurred at the intersection of the overpass and Bear River Dr. and resulted in a chain reaction accident after law enforcement had already arrived and as motorists tried to get around the initial accident.
“It was just a skating rink out there,” said Pearson.
He said officers didn’t open cases as they stopped to help out people who had gone off the road or gotten stuck.
“They just stopped and helped where they were needed,” he said, adding that there were also a whole lot of good Samaritans who stopped to help one another out.
“We’re a bunch of cowboys here with tow cables and stuff in our vehicles,” he said.
Uinta County Sheriff Doug Matthews said his office didn’t officially respond to any accidents themselves but did assist the Wyoming Highway Patrol with some slide-offs and a stuck semi-truck on Interstate 80.
Both men said law enforcement officers frequently deal with the same issues when winter weather arrives. Matthews said people procrastinate preparing for winter and are caught unprepared and lack good winter tires on their vehicles.
Pearson also said people need to make sure their cars have good tires and to follow winter driving precautions, such as increasing the distance between vehicles. The biggest rule, however, is to simply allow more time to reach a destination and avoid driving distractions.
“Slow the hell down…” Pearson said.