Snowfall, cold causes slippery suburban roads; 1 dead, several injured in Racine pile-up

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December 9, 2013 6:00:57 AM PST
Once the snow began falling in Chicago's outlying areas, the roads started getting slippery, and that meant a sudden increase in car crashes on area roads.

The snow stopped by late Sunday evening, but the damage had already been done. It was a heavy, wet, fast-falling snow, which means it also wreaked havoc on the roads.

"It's horrible outside, there's a lot of sliding around, it's rain, it's snow," said driver R.G. Common. "Let's see what the rest of the winter brings."

From the Jane Addams Tollway, to Arlington Heights Road, to a random neighborhood street, navigating the roads along the northwest suburbs Sunday night has become increasingly treacherous. Dropping temperatures and continued snowfall has resulted in slick, snow-covered roads.

"I have to go to Crystal Lake. Making a stop and cleaning off my windshield wiper 'cause it got frozen, just taking it slow," said driver Inga Blementhal.

Meanwhile IDOT officials say they have 300 salt trucks and plows out trying to keep up.

Illinois State Police report several weather-related crashes and spinouts, but it's nothing compared to the treacherous conditions further north.

Across the border in Wisconsin, one man is dead and at least 50 were injured as a result of two separate multi-vehicle pileups that took place along a five mile stretch of I-94 in Racine County.

Poor visibility and poor road conditions led to 37 vehicles and 11 semis crashing into each other or driving into ditches. A passenger bus headed to Frankfort, Indiana was among those involved.

"It was bad, and you could barely see out the road," said bus passenger Luis Alanis. "I was on my phone and next thing I knew, I looked up and just swerving through cars dodging cars, and we ended up in the ditch."

Because of the high number of crashes, State Police said the whole area is under an emergency snow plan, which means if you are in an accident, your car is drivable and you are uninjured, you should continue along the way and report the accident later.

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