A snowplow clears slush from Mount Angeles Road near the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles as a vehicle sits in the ditch after sliding off the road Tuesday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A snowplow clears slush from Mount Angeles Road near the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles as a vehicle sits in the ditch after sliding off the road Tuesday morning. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Officials urge cautious driving after recent wrecks attributed to speed on ice

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Fire District No. 2 firefighters have responded to more than six wrecks in the past couple of weeks, many caused by people driving incorrectly for winter conditions, said Assistant Chief Mike DeRousie.

“Every accident I have been out on — the last six — shouldn’t have happened,” he said Tuesday as snow fell in Port Angeles. “If they just slowed down, we wouldn’t have gone to any of these.”

Responders were called out to a truck in a ditch on state Highway 112 at the Elwha River on Tuesday morning, he said.

Throughout the weekend, two trucks rolled into a ditch at the same spot on West Edgewood Drive on different days.

A semi-truck jackknifed early Monday morning on U.S. Highway 101 near the Elwha River bridge.

“If you don’t have to be anywhere, don’t go out on the roads,” DeRousie said. “If you do have somewhere to be at a certain time, drive slower.”

He said road conditions have been treacherous in many areas and that drivers can expect plenty more winter weather before things warm up.

DeRousie is urging drivers to use main roads as often as possible because side roads aren’t maintained.

“Wherever it’s real shady, those are going to be the spots that are potentially slick areas,” he said, adding to watch for signs of ice crystals reflecting on the road surface.

The state Department of Transportation only has 14 employees working the state highways from Lake Crescent to the Hood Canal Bridge, including the areas in Port Townsend, Fort Flagler, Sequim, Port Angeles, Lake Sutherland and Joyce, DeRousie said.

“Crews treat roadways, and sometimes within only a few hours, the weather changes and rains can wash away treatment solutions only to freeze again in a short time,” he said.

As of recently, there have been no wrecks in East Jefferson County attributable to snow or ice, said Bill Beezley, spokesman for East Jefferson Fire-Rescue.

“We haven’t had any snow at all,” he said.

National Weather Service meteorologists say the rest of the week will be chilly, with lows at night getter into the lower or mid-20s.

The North Olympic Peninsula could see highs in the mid- to upper 30s during the day before things warm up over the weekend, said Chris Burke, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle.

The weather service did not have snow reports for the Olympic Peninsula, he said.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

Port Angeles Parks Department workers Eli Hammel, left, and Leon Leonard carry snow shovels along a snowy stretch of sidewalk on East Fifth Street in front of Port Angeles City Hall on Tuesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Parks Department workers Eli Hammel, left, and Leon Leonard carry snow shovels along a snowy stretch of sidewalk on East Fifth Street in front of Port Angeles City Hall on Tuesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

More in News

Betsy Reed Schultz, head of the Captain Joseph Foundation, sits in the library of the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles as the respite home for Gold Star families prepares for its first guests this weekend. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Captain Joseph House to welcome its first families

Respite center first in nation of its kind

Quilcene Bay is currently closed to shellfish harvesting

Beach the latest in Jefferson County to be closed due to PSP

Clallam County to hire addiction counselor for needle exchange

Move is part of pilot project to link clients with services

As flower-cutting season gives way to pumpkin selection, Kaya Mindlin of Port Townsend picks dahlias and statice at Wilderbee Farm just outside the city. Fall temperatures are expected to remain in the mid to upper 60s this week with an increasing chance of a few showers by the weekend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)
Fall scenery

As flower-cutting season gives way to pumpkin selection, Kaya Mindlin of Port… Continue reading

Jefferson County estuary to be restored

Duckabush gets grant of more than $19M

Jeffco commissioners approve new building lot regulations

Change could lead to more development in substandard lots

School outbreaks driving numbers in Jefferson County

Clallam County remains in moderate-risk category

Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsual News Group
Firefighters from Clallam County Fire District 3 respond to a house fire on the 200 block of North Dunlap Avenue.
Sequim house fire quelled

No injuries were reported in a fire at a Sequim… Continue reading

Most Read