Icy roads lead to wrecks, warnings from police

LAWRENCE/JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – The trek from Lawrence to Jackson County proved treacherous for a few drivers on Monday.

The roads in those two areas are still slick and packed with ice four days after a winter storm hit Northeast Arkansas.

The Monday morning commute slowed to a crawl near the Lawrence-Jackson County line.

Traffic was limited to only lane near Alicia after some semi-trucks stalled on Highway 67 due to the buildup of ice.

The incident disrupted Leslie Stripling's trip from her home in Michigan to her destination in Louisiana.

"I know that they don't have the means that we do in Michigan," said Stripling, whose parents live in Paragould, "but I just hope that it gets above freezing and they can get all this off the roads. It's horrible."

The almost standstill traffic was not the only problem. Most drivers could no go above 20 miles per hour on Highway 67 due to the slick conditions.

"I'm used to driving in this," Stripling said, "but when it comes to ice, it doesn't matter how experienced you are. You can't do anything."

Up the road in Hoxie and Walnut Ridge, people found the main roads mostly clear thanks to the unrelenting work of the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department road crews. The residential streets and even parking lots, however, proved more dangerous.

"I'm just hoping that the roads can clear up so that the kids can go back to school," Angela Augustine of Hoxie said, "and they don't have to stay in longer for the summer."

Augustine said she has driven the icy roads just about every day since the storm hit, but for others like Dale Cobble, Monday was their first day getting out and about.

"I got out Saturday and slipped and fell down, and I thought that's enough," Cobble said. "Today's the first day that I've really been out since Thursday, but [the roads] have been impassable. Hardly anything's been on our road."

Local law enforcement agencies are still asking drivers to stay off the roads.

Police have worked countless accidents during the past few days, including another wreck involving a tractor-trailer on U.S. 67 just outside Newport.

The driver apparently ran over some ice on the highway and then slid backward off the road, bringing traffic to a dead stop for almost an hour.

"Everybody slow down, take your time," Stripling said. "Don't be in a hurry."

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