Icy roads, snow cause wrecks on I-90

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A semi-truck flipped on its side after hitting icy roads near Nine-Mile on Dec. 12. The passengers only sustained minor injuries and were taken to the hospital. Red’s Towing pulled the truck off the westbound lane by early afternoon. (Kathleen Woodford/Mineral Independent)

Severe winter weather hit the region last week causing several mishaps, especially on the west end of Mineral County on Interstate 90. There were reports of snow and ice from Haugan to Lookout Pass on Monday, Dec 10 in the evening hours. Around the region, Noxon, Thompson Falls and Superior were included in the winter weather advisory, as well as several other passes, including Marias Pass, which was under a blizzard warning with 80 mph winds and several inches of snow.

By Tuesday morning, Dec. 10, the Montana Department of Transportation reported at least three wrecks near mile marker 18, and three more reports came in between 7 and 9 p.m. They all occurred near the Montana-Idaho border on Lookout Pass.

On Dec. 12, the Frenchtown Rural Fire Department responded to an early-morning wreck where a semi-truck overturned in the westbound lane near Nine-Mile. The report came in around 6:30 a.m., said spokesperson Mel Holt. It was a single-vehicle crash, and the two passengers of the truck were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The truck hit an icy patch and went out of control while carrying a load of machine parts. The interstate was down to one lane until nearly 1 p.m.

“With the first major storm of the season it seems people need to relearn how to drive in snowy conditions,” Holtz said. He wanted to remind drivers to slow down and give crews plenty of room when there is a wreck. “Our crews are focused on the emergency, not on the traffic. Especially first responders who are there before the signs are up and someone is directing traffic. It can get very dangerous,” he said.

Alberton School had delayed classes that morning due to icy road conditions.

Friday morning also saw a lot of wrecjs with four incidents reported between 6 and 8 a.m. near mile marker 30 west of Superior. Two semi-truck were also reported jack-knifed in separate incidents during the week.

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