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Tractor trailer accident blocks northbound traffic on I-55 in Tate County

SENATOBIA, Miss. — The snow led to slippery conditions this morning in Tate County, just south of Hernando.

So much so that authorities with the Mississippi Highway Patrol stopped traffic along I-55 in Tate County after a tractor trailer jack-knifed across the northbound lanes.

The Mid-South's recent winter weather may have been a factor in the incident.

"I was originally trying to see my mother in Chicago, but I'd be happy if I just make it home to St. Louis right now," Driver Gene Taylor said.

Taylor, traveling north from New Orleans, was one of many stopped in a long line of cars.

Others like Lee Sewell are just trying to get from Mississippi to Memphis.

"I'm driving to Memphis to fly an airplane to Dallas. Right now, it's not looking too good. But we gave ourselves plenty of time, so we'll see," Sewell said.

Mississippi Highway Patrol officials say the truck was going north when it slid on the ice, that's how it ended up jack-knifed.

Luckily, they say the driver wasn't hurt.

It took some creative maneuvering by a two truck to get it on track.

The northbound lanes reopened after about 30 minutes, but drivers say it should serve as a useful reminder to others.

"I have years of experience knowing how to drive on ice. A lot of people are in too big of a hurry, obviously," Sewell said.

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, ice has been reported on roads and overpasses in several counties including Alcorn,Benton, Calhoun, Coahoma, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Tate, Tippah and Tunica.

Drivers are encouraged to use extreme caution and adhere to the following safety tips:

  • Buckle up for safety
  • Slow down, especially when driving in winter weather conditions
  • Allow more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
  • Brake early to allow plenty of time to stop
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding and never slam on the brakes
  • Turn on lights to be more visible to other motorists
  • Do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads
  • Stay alert and look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do
  • Drive safely

With the sun out now, drivers might think it's safer to hit the roads.

But if you don't have anywhere to go, experts say it's better not to risk it, just stay home.