UPDATE: Slick conditions cause dozens of accidents on Columbia roads

Friday, January 31, 2014 | 9:29 p.m. CST; updated 10:31 p.m. CST, Friday, January 31, 2014
Jammie Dyson, left, and Megan Groves make phone calls after a three-car accident at the intersection of West Worley Street and Banks Avenue on Friday. No one was injured in the collision.

Freezing temperatures and rain combined Friday to create a driving nightmare during the evening commute.

Emergency calls began streaming into the Public Safety Joint Communications center at 4:44 p.m. as cars slid off roadways. The first calls came from drivers on Highway 63, Stadium Boulevard, Old 63, Vandiver Drive and Broadway.

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Public Safety Joint Communications processed 457 calls and took reports for about 100 accidents between 5 and 7 p.m. in Boone County, according to a news release. The number of calls coming in was so large that extra staff were brought in to handle them.

As of 6:30 p.m., public safety officials had responded to 33 calls about injury accidents. Scott Smith, spokesman for Public Safety Joint Communications, said the highest volume of calls was between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Friday.

"At one point, we had more than 70 calls coming into the 911 center just after 5 o'clock this evening," Smith said.

At 6:32 p.m., he said, the wait for assistance was three to four minutes for injury incidents.

Motorists involved in non-injury accidents were advised to call a non-emergency line at 573-442-6131.

Drivers who can move their vehicles should collect insurance information and report it to the police later this weekend.

Callers are also advised to be patient, Smith said, as the wait time for a response might be extended due to the volume of calls.

Freezing rain and snow are expected for Columbia residents this weekend. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for mid-Missouri, including Columbia. The advisory was in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday.

KOMU has a list of local closing and cancellations.

Map of injury accidents

Each red dot on the map below indicates an injury accident reported to 911 dispatch Friday between 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. Click on a dot to find out the exact location and what time the accident was reported.


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Mark Foecking February 1, 2014 | 2:59 a.m.

It's called "driving too fast for conditions", and it's entirely avoidable. Anyone that causes an "accident" under these conditions is negligent, and I would say they should lose their license for a period of time (a year is not unreasonable) for not respecting the deadly dangerous potential of their car.

Hopefully neither person involved in the accident was using their cellphone at the time of the "accident". If so, they should lose their licenses for the rest of their lives.


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