Snow and ice-covered roads in South Sound and throughout the region caused numerous crashes overnight Wednesday and on Thursday, and gave many local schoolchildren a day off from school.
Nearly all the Thurston County school districts closed for the day and many community activities were cancelled, largely due to icy conditions that challenged commuters, commercial vehicles and other drivers overnight and into the morning.
And although some melting cleared roads Thursday afternoon, things aren’t likely to get a lot better anytime soon. Temperatures were supposed to dip into the low 20s early Thursday morning. Snow is in the forecast for Friday, and rain and snow also are predicted for next week.
A family turned in a hit-and-run driver suspected of crashing into two Washington State Patrol cars in Tacoma Wednesday night. Trooper Brooke Bova said Thursday morning drugs or alcohol were involved.
The wreck occurred on Pacific Avenue near 38th Street. A silver SUV crashed into two troopers who were blocking a lane for a disabled vehicle. They were not injured. The driver fled the scene in the damaged 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Thursday morning, the family of a 23-year-old woman turned her in and she was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail.
South King Fire reported a seven-car crash at Highway 18 and southbound Interstate 5 near Federal Way Wednesday night, Q13-FOX reported. About 10 people were involved in the wreck, but nobody was hurt.
And it was worse farther north: Troopers in Island, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties responded to 185 wrecks in a 24-hour stretch, trooper Heather Axtman tweeted at 10:08 a.m.
In Thurston County, Bald Hill Road Southeast, between Rainier View Drive Southeast and Longmire Road Southeast, was closed for about four and a half hours Thursday morning because of a stuck semi-trailer truck and icy conditions, according to Thurston County spokeswoman Meghan Porter. The road reopened around 12:30 p.m., she said.
Lacey Fire posted that its crews had responded to more than a half dozen crashes by 8 a.m.
“No major injuries thankfully,” fire officials tweeted. “Just a lot of smashed cars and sad drivers planning trips to the body shop.”
Bill’s Towing in Yelm tweeted that its workers had responded to many accidents overnight, with roadway conditions ranging from slush to compact snow and ice.
Meanwhile, troopers in district 5 in Southwest Washington responded to 14 crashes overnight, which was down from 44 from the previous day, according to trooper Will Fin. He said two of those wrecks were in Lewis County, three were in Cowlitz County and nine were in Clark County.