Public Safety

Cedar Rapids police respond to 48 crashes in three hours Thursday morning

No serious injuries were reported, police say

Iowa Department of Transportation camera view of jackknifed semi-trailer blocking Linn County traffic on southbound Inte
Iowa Department of Transportation camera view of jackknifed semi-trailer blocking Linn County traffic on southbound Interstate 380 north of County Home Road on morning of Oct. 31, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids police responded to 48 crashes on slick roads Thursday from 7 to 10 a.m., according to data provided by the department.

Most of the crashes happened on First Avenue, Interstate 380 and Edgewood Road, police said, but none resulted in serious injury.

After 10 a.m., as snowfall slowed and roads cleared, the crashes lessened, Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., officers responded to nine wrecks, bringing the total to 57 crashes in nine hours.

On Tuesday, police said officers responded to more than 20 wrecks from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. because of roads made slick by snow.

In one Thursday morning incident, a jackknifed truck shut down traffic on Interstate 380 south near Toddville for nearly two hours. The crash happened about 6:30 a.m., authorities said. Crews cleared the wreckage and reopened the roadway around 8:20.

Locally, Mount Vernon Road, just east of Cedar Rapids, was closed overnight because of a crash that resulted in downed power lines.

Sabrina Harris, 26, of Cedar Rapids, lost control of her westbound vehicle at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday on Mount Vernon Road near Bertram Road, according to a news release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. Her vehicle struck a utility pole, which knocked down power lines. She was not hurt.


The city of Cedar Rapids said plow operations began Wednesday night. Routes, according to the city’s website, are prioritized based on traffic volumes with “main arterial routes” and emergency snow routes — such as First Avenue — taking priority, followed by connecter streets such as H Avenue NE or Johnson Avenue NW — and finally residential and side streets.

The Iowa Department of Transportation said it deployed about 240 plows throughout the state starting at 5:30 a.m.

Despite that, the agency warned that roads — and especially bridges and overpasses — still may be icy and slick.

“Buckle up, slow down and allow plenty of space between vehicles,” the DOT cautioned.

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