Winter storm contributes to 28 motor vehicle accidents in 4 hours
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Dec. 23, 2004 -- It was as if the snow, biting winds and rapidly dropping temperatures were a signal to many drivers to move a little faster Wednesday evening.

Although temperatures had slipped to near the freezing mark by 5 p.m., a fresh blast of cold wind and more snow around 6 p.m. rapidly pushed the mercury to the mid-20s, and roadways began to freeze over, especially on Interstate 30 overpasses.

The accidents that followed pushed emergency response agencies in Hopkins County to the limit, starting just before 6 p.m. when a car spun out of control on the overpass over Radio Road. In the next four hours, sheriff's deputies responded to 11 ice-related crashes and Department of Public Safety troopers were called to investigate another 17 accidents.

Hopkins County Emergency Medical Service ambulance were called to 15 of the accidents, but only a few of the wrecks involved injuries.

A number of volunteer fire departments were also pressed into service as first responders to the traffic accidents and to help control traffic around those accidents while Texas Department of Transportation crews rushed to spread sand and gravel on ice-covered sections of the highways in the county.

Early morning low temperatures were in the mid-teens and by mid-morning Thursday were still in the lower 20s but clear skies and bright sunshine worked to clear a majority of the ice from highways in the area.

Bitter cold temperatures and wind chill factors hung around for a couple of days.

Forecasts called for temperatures drop to near 10 degrees and north winds to push wind chills well below zero, and Christmas Eve high temperatures were expected to only reach into the upper 20s.

Low temperatures early Christmas morning were near 10 degrees.

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