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Columbia Missourian

More than 1,000 accidents reported during snowstorm

By Kendyl Kearly
February 7, 2014 | 6:58 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — More than 1,000 crashes on state highways were reported at the height of this week's snowstorm.

During the week's worst weather on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated 1,054 accidents statewide. Three deaths and 96 injuries occurred during the 48-hour period.

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On average, state troopers investigate 100 traffic crashes per day throughout the state, according to the Highway Patrol. During the latest snowstorm, troopers answered 3,045 phone calls for assistance.

The Highway Patrol tries to anticipate bad weather and schedule more troopers, said Sgt. Dan Crain, Troop I public information and education officer. Troopers can work extended shifts of 10 or 12 hours in extreme weather conditions, he said.

“We do the best we can,” Crain said. “We use our manpower to try to respond. Sometimes, those calls exhaust your manpower. . . . We do have good resources because of the extra scheduling, but the bottom line is, sometimes there’s too much going on.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol advises drivers who must travel to plan ahead by keeping fuel tanks at least half full and allowing enough time to reach destinations at a cautious pace, for example.

“On those days where snow or ice make travel treacherous, I strongly encourage you to stay home if at all possible,” said Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in a news release.