Quick snowfall leads to slick conditions, multiple accidents - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Quick snowfall leads to slick conditions, multiple accidents

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A slide-off of an Oldham County school bus. A slide-off of an Oldham County school bus.
Tony Murrell Tony Murrell
Chase Shropshire Chase Shropshire
Cars on the shoulder of Cedar Grove Road after sliding off. Cars on the shoulder of Cedar Grove Road after sliding off.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Much of Kentuckiana was transformed into a winter wonderland Friday. While some people found the snow beautiful, others found it pretty annoying.

"I had to come out here and shovel the snow on my driveway just so my truck would stay parked in the driveway," said Tony Murrell, an Indian Falls subdivision resident. "Just five minutes ago, it slid down the driveway back in the middle of the street."

Friday got off to a slow, slippery start for Murrell. First, he had to master navigating down a slick side street hill, as other neighbors in his subdivision slid out of control. Then, he battled traffic in order to take his daughter to school.

"[Interstate] 65 was slow," began Murrell, "about 40 miles per hour at the fastest."

Out on the interstates, frigid temperatures rendered salt useless is some spots.

"I don't think anybody really knew how bad it really was," said Chase Shropshire.

Shropshire's commute through Bullitt County took an icy turn for the worse Friday morning.

"I came off the hill," began Shropshire, "and just went straight across the street."

From fender-benders, to spin outs and slide-offs, even school buses faced struggles. At least one Oldham county parent expressed frustration after learning the district's decision to keep schools open landed her daughter's bus in a ditch.

"I think it was a bad call," said Gerri, "because I had trouble getting on the roads too."

"We didn't know how long we were going to be here and how cold it was going to get," Gerri's daughter, Erin, added. "So we were kind of scared."

With the countdown to the weekend underway, by Friday afternoon many people said they were ready to head indoors, and stay there.

Many Oldham County parents felt the decision to hold class was in error. On their Facebook page Oldham County Schools released the following statement from Superintendent Will Wells about the decision to stay open.

Parents -- First, let me apologize for any inconvenience or frustration you faced today.

Certainly, in hindsight, cancelling or delaying school would have been a sound decision. Unfortunately, we must make our decisions based on what information we have available. And, we must make that decision by 5:30 a.m. when our drivers start their routes.

At that time this morning, there was no snow falling in Oldham County and, in fact, the National Weather Service was predicting snow would move through around 8 a.m. -- after most of our buses had completed their routes. Today, those predictions were incorrect by about 2 hours and 2 inches.

By the time snow began falling in Oldham County, many of our buses were already on the roads. At that point, we can't delay or cancel school -- there would be no way to notify kids who might already be standing outside and we can't simply abandon them.

Our bus drivers adjusted their routes, avoiding slippery areas as much as possible. We had only three minor fender benders -- I'm sure we all saw many more car accidents -- and no one was injured.

That is thanks, in large part, to the skill of our bus drivers. Their abilities and training allowed them to deliver all our students safely to their schools. I would also like to commend our entire transportation department, including maintenance crews who helped get buses back on the road when they slid off and our office staff who ensured everything ran as smoothly as possible.

We agree that, knowing what we know now, a cancellation would have been warranted. These decisions are difficult to make and we -- like all other districts -- will not always be correct. But, know that we always make these decisions very carefully and try to learn from each experience.

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