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.
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.
Source: CITY OF COLUMBIA