Dozens of Crashes Line Icy Roadways

(Memphis) Dozens of cars slid and crashed on the highways and surface roads Monday evening, as bridges and overpasses iced over.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reported 39 crashes between 2:00p.m. and 6:00p.m., with eight of them involving injuries.

Several accidents near 385 and Forest Hill Irene caused officials to close down Bill Morris Parkway in both directions for three hours. They could only reopen the highway after salt trucks had come through.

The closure created stop-and-go traffic, especially during rush hour as people tried to get home. Then, as some Grizzlies fans tried to get to the game downtown, they were stopped by accidents too.

Timothy Bennett Jr. was part of a multi-car crash on Hacks Cross, coming off the highway. Black ice had formed on a small viaduct going over a creek.

“The woman, she stopped in front of me, and I was trying to avoid her. And I slid into her. And I got hit three times, by two separate cars,” Bennett said.

Down the street, a couple of other accidents had preceded that one. Will Taylor’s family’s car was hit on the side.

“When you get up on the viaducts, they ice a whole lot quicker than the streets do. So take heed, take warning, because this is a sure sign. We probably just had an eight-car wreck out here,” Taylor said.

As police worked to clear the scene, yet another car spun out on the other side of the road.

It’s dangerous going at regular speeds, and even slowing down doesn’t always prevent an accident.

“They were going maybe 5 to 10 miles per hour. So even at that speed you can lose control of your vehicle,” Taylor said.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office announced the inclement weather policy will be in effect until Tuesday morning. So anyone involved in an accident with no injuries should exchange information with the other party and report it later.

All drivers are encouraged to go slowly, and allow more time to get from place to place.

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