Several morning accidents delay commutes

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | 8:07 p.m. CST; updated 5:57 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 10, 2011

COLUMBIA — Some morning commutes were interrupted Wednesday by several accidents that caused traffic delays, and in some cases injuries. 

At about 7 a.m., a single-car rollover accident occurred along eastbound Interstate 70 about three miles east of the Stadium Boulevard exit. Dispatch Shift Supervisor Chuck Mastalshi said the accident traffic caused a back up for almost three miles. 

Lieutenant Tim Moriarity, who works patrol and is the daytime watch commander for the Columbia Police Department, said the vehicle was towed and the driver was uninjured.

He said that the reason for the traffic jam was the process of “removing the vehicle from the roadway,” Moriarity said curiosity also was a factor in the delay.

“People want to be safe as they are passing an incident, but you have people that gawk, too,” Moriarity said. He said that as a person, “you know, you want to look” at the wreck.    

Another accident occurred on Blue Ridge Road at 7:15 a.m. Moriarity said this accident resulted in injury, but he did not specify the severity. 

“The driver complained of head and neck pain,” Moriarity said.

He said the driver was transported to a hospital but would not comment on the driver’s condition.

Other minor accidents took place at the intersections of:

  • Scott Boulevard and Chapel Hill Road.
  • Creasy Springs Road.
  • Conley Road near Chili’s Grill and Bar.
  • The intersection of Old Highway 63 and Broadway.
  • The intersection of Nifong Boulevard and Baurichter Drive.

Moriarity said these incidents resulted in few or no injuries.

“Most (accidents) were fairly minor, which is typical for snowy and icy days,” said Moriarity.

He said that when roads were slick, cars tended to bounce off of each other more, whereas on clear days they tended to “drive in on each other.”  He also said cautionary driving was another reason the accidents were minor.

“People tend to drive slower,” said Moriarity. “Slower speeds means less serious injury.”

From 7  to 9 a.m., there were seven accidents within Columbia city limits.  Moriarity said the crashes were “definitely weather related.”  He said that while the increased morning traffic factored into some of the crashes, slick roads primarily caused the incidents.

“The temperature is cold enough that there are still patches (of ice) that melted during the day and froze at night,” Moriarity said. 

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