Accidents closed part of the interstate in eastern Iowa today, and another highway in central Iowa. In Cedar Rapids I-380 was closed for a time this morning after several accidents. Cedar Rapids police spokesperson, Sergeant Cristy Hamblin, says the cause of the problem was easy to pinpoint.
"Speed and ice, they don’t mix," Hamblin says. She’s not sure if it’s black ice, but says motorists are not seeing the ice and are spinning out of control when they hit it. Hamblin says most of the accidents are happening on bridges and overpasses, which ice over quicker. Hamblin says they’ve been lucking that the dozens of accidents have been mostly minor.
Hamblin says the cars and trucks have taken the brunt of the accidents and there have been no fatalities, just minor injuries, with possibly one person suffering a broken wrist. Hamblin says her department has had five patrol cars damaged in accidents or while covering accidents.
Hamblin says, "The real winners in this bad weather are the mechanics that are fixing up the cars." Hamblin says it doesn’t matter where you’re traveling in the state, the advice is the same for winter driving. Hamblin says whenever there is bad weather, from rain, winds or ice, slow down. "And a lot of motorists don’t realize that even if the speed limit is 55, if it is unsafe conditions, you can still be given a speeding ticket for going under the speed limit if it is unsafe conditions," Hamblin says, "slow down, leave a little bit early and leave a lot of space between you and the car in front of you."
Hamblin says the interstate is now back open. A head-on accident closed Highway 69 near Huxley in Story County this morning. A hospital helicopter was sent to the scene, but so far there’s no update on any injuries or fatalities.