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Road conditions lead to numerous Tuesday wrecks

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 17, 2008) — Even though Pulaski County schools cancelled classes early on Tuesday afternoon due to treacherous road conditions, only the Waynesville R-VI School District and Laquey R-V School District remained closed Wednesday morning.

Both districts announced Tuesday evening that they would be closed on Wednesday. School officials in Crocker, Richland, Swedeborg, Dixon and Plato held off on their closure decisions until Wednesday morning and all decided conditions had improved to the point that they could hold classes. National Weather Service officials reported Wednesday morning that no more precipitation was expected and temperatures would reach a high near 30 with wind chills as low as 19. Bad weather is expected again Thursday, however.

Many offices at Fort Leonard Wood let employees out early on Tuesday, but post officials didn’t implement delayed reporting on Wednesday. All road conditions at Fort Leonard Wood were “amber” or better, which means, according to the post’s safety office, that road conditions are difficult to hazardous. Drivers must slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit to maintain traction and a safe stopping distance during amber road conditions, according to the safety office.

Those who want more information about the post’s status and weather conditions may contact the automated reporting system at (573) 596-4141.

State troopers reported numerous crashes and slide-offs during the day on Tuesday, though the roads cleared up by late Tuesday evening.

At 10:05 a.m., troopers received a report of a vehicle overturned in a roadside ditch on Highway 28 about a miler south of Highway D. Rescue personnel arrived to find the occupants weren’t hurt.

Several motorists in the Buckhorn area weren’t so lucky.

At 10:40 a.m., troopers received a report of a rollover crash on Highway 17 about four miles south of Buckhorn. When they arrived, they found a 2002 Ford Explorer driven by Josefine A. Spangler-Dart, 46, of Richland, had been northbound when it slid off the left side of the roadway, overturned, and came to rest on its wheels.

Spangler-Dart and her granddaughter, Anna P. Dart, 3, also of Richland, both suffered minor injuries and were taken to Breech Mediceal Center in Lebanon for treatment. Both had been wearing their seat belts or other restraints, troopers reported.

The vehicle sustained extensive damage and was removed by Jack’s Towing.

Another crash less than half an hour later in the Buckhorn area damaged two vehicles on Interstate 44.

Troopers reported that Edgar Serna, 54, of Belleville, Wis., was eastbound at 11 a.m. on Interstate 44 in a 1999 Ford van when he was passed by a 2006 Freightliner semi truck driven by Thomas C. Essel, 23, of Marshfield. Serna lost control of his van on an icy roadway, rotated, and ran into the path of the semi truck. The semi struck the van, causing it to travel into the median, where it struck the center cable barrier, crossed back across the roadway, and came to rest on the roadside shoulder. The semi also ran into the median and struck the cable barrier but came to rest in the median.

The semi driver was not hurt, but Serna suffered minor injuries and sought his own treatment. Both drivers had been wearing their seat belts, troopers reported.

Serna’s van sustained moderate damage and was removed by Jack’s Towing. Essel’s semi sustained extensive damage and was removed by Marshfield Towing in Marshfield.

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