116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
UPDATE: More than three dozen motor-vehicle crashes were reported this morning in Cedar Rapids, as a winter storm continues to make travel treacherous.
About five inches of snow fell in the city, covering lanes on Interstate 380 and slowing traffic. Cedar Rapids police had handled 37 accidents as of 11 a.m., but only one involved an injury.
Around 8:20 a.m., a semi-trailer truck wrecked along I-380 near 33rd Avenue SW and took out a streetlight. The trailer spun around and blocked two lanes, causing traffic to come to a standstill behind it for nearly an hour. No one was injured.
Iowa State Patrol Lt. Randy Jones said even though motorists see what appears to be clear pavement, it's actually dangerously slick.
“I'm still clocking people going 68 to 70 miles per hour out here, and they don't realize that they're on 100 percent ice,” Jones said. “People are just not slowing down at all.”
Jones said he has covered at least a dozen accidents this morning. Crews were dropping salt and sand on I-380, but Jones said it didn't seem to be making much of an impact.
“I'm afraid that with the temperature and winds, it's not sticking, and the product is just blowing off the roads,” Jones said.
Around 11:40 a.m., emergency crews rushed to a rollover accident on I-380, about three miles south of Center Point. A car apparently went off the northbound lanes and rolled into the ditch. It appeared firefighters had to cut open the top of the car to free whoever was inside.
An ambulance was on the scene, but details on possible injuries were not yet available.
It wasn't much better to the south of Cedar Rapids. More than a dozen vehicles were in the ditch or median on I-380 between Cedar Rapids and Interstate 80 at 9:30 a.m.
“Travel is always ill-advised on days like today,” Cedar Rapids police Lt. Kelly Fitzpatrick said. “If you don't have to be out, don't.”
Other crashes reported this morning:
[naviga:li]An accident on I-380 northbound near 76th Avenue, reported around 9:40 a.m.[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]A multiple-car crash on southbound Interstate 380 on the S-curves, over First Avenue, reported around 7:45 a.m.[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]I-380 southbound near Diagonal Drive, after a car spun into the guardrail in that area. That crash was reported around 7:20 a.m.[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]A crash involving a van on the curve of northbound I-380, near St. Luke's Hospital, just after 7 a.m. The driver was taken to St. Luke's with a neck injury, police said.[/naviga:li]
According to the Iowa State Patrol, the entire stretch of I-380 and I-80 in Iowa is completely covered with snow. Tow bans are in effect.
A winter weather warning is still in place due to the amount of snow and the high winds that are expected as the day progresses.
Cedar Rapids police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said drivers involved in a wreck should first check for injuries, but if there are none, move the vehicles off the roadway to a safe location, if possible. When calling 911, drivers should be ready to give their location.
The drivers involved should write down license plate numbers of the vehicles involved and get names of the other drivers. Before moving the vehicles, it's a good idea to snap a few pictures of the crash with a cell phone camera if you can, Hamblin said.