Icy commute leads to dozens of collisions


by KING 5 News


Posted on December 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 2:00 PM

Early morning snow and slush turned to ice in places for the Tuesday morning commute, leading to dozens of accidents around Western Washington. Two school buses were involved in a collision near the Tacoma Dome.

Areas of Snohomish County, east King County and south of Puget Sound were hardest hit by the overnight snow. A handful of school districts closed for the day. Latest school delays / Sign up for school closure text alerts

At least two school buses were reportedly involved in a collision at the Interstate 5 - State Route 7 interchange in Tacoma. Another school bus in Kent slid off the road while making a turn and ended up in a ditch. Nobody was hurt.

The driver of a van had trouble on the new flyover ramp from State Route 18 to I-5 in Federal Way. The van ended up sideways on the ramp, but avoided colliding with other vehicles.

The Washington State Patrol reported over two dozen collisions in Pierce and Thurston counties alone.

A Kennewick man was killed in a collision with a truck in snow and slush on Interstate 90 Monday night eight miles east of Cle Elum. The Washington State Patrol says 38-year-old Cristoval Martinez lost control of his car and rear-ended a semi-truck.

KING 5 Weather forecaster Keisha Burns reported snow with places of freezing rain around the region. Expect a trace to three inches above 500 feet, but heavier showers could drop the snow level to as low as 200 feet, especially on inland hills that are at least five miles from Puget Sound. Highs will struggle to reach the upper 30s. Latest forecast

Most residents in the Lake Stevens area, which got about an inch of snow, are taking the weather in stride, saying this is all part of living in the convergence zone.

"We get a bit of Seattle weather all at once. Within the same day it'll be raining and sunny at the same time" said resident Will Gerdron.

Instead of just enjoying the snow, Luciano Reyes is preparing for the worst case scenario. He got stuck in Lake Stevens twice last year and has learned never to leave the house unpreapred.

"Every morning when I bring my wife here to the park and ride I bundle up in case I get stuck, then I can just walk home and leave the car here" said resident Luciano Reyes.

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