Two inches of snow blanketed Lawrence and the area Saturday morning and afternoon, causing a hazard for drivers with still more snow expected to fall overnight.
Law enforcement officers in Douglas County during the day Saturday reported 57 noninjury accidents and seven injury accidents, most in the Lawrence area. None of the injuries sustained were major, said Mark Elliott, acting battalion chief for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical.Authorities continued to caution motorists about driving today, especially with the National Weather Service predicting an additional one to three inches to fall in Lawrence.
"The streets are slick, snow-packed," said Lawrence Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Warren. "People need to be careful out there."
A 32-year-old Ozawkie woman died Saturday morning after her vehicle slid off a snow-packed road and struck a tree in Jefferson County.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Gabrielle Brooke Hatten lost control of her 1999 Dodge Durango while traveling north about 9:30 Saturday morning on Ferguson Road about three miles east of Ozawkie. The highway patrol's report said she wore a seat belt.
In a similar but less serious accident, a Chevy Blazer carrying 10 people overturned on U.S. Highway 24 about four miles west of Tonganoxie.
Although two of the passengers were not wearing seat belts, no one in the vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries, said Tom Pulkrabek, chief of the Tonganoxie Township Rural Fire Department. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical workers responded to that accident for assistance, dispatchers said.
Accidents near Lawrence Saturday morning included one oneastbound Kansas Highway 10. The wreck closed both lanes while crews removed the vehicle. Police said the driver was not seriously hurt.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, two people were transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital after an accident near 23rd Street and Naismith Drive. Elliott classified their injuries as minor.
But Saturday's snow failed to deter many shoppers in Lawrence, and others welcomed the flakes for a different reason.
Kathryn Koeberl, 4, of Lawrence, sped down a hill on a green plastic sled at Centennial Park.
"I think snow in Lawrence in a way is a welcome sight, especially around the holidays," said her father, Chris Koeberl.
Accidents in snow and ice: in 2004: 4,919 in 2003: 6,015 in 2002: 6,036 in 2001: 5,005 in 2000: 7,499 In 2004, 6.6 percent of accidents occurred during snow and/or ice conditions.
On average, 82.4 percent of accidents in Kansas occur when there are no adverse conditions.
Frequency of winter accidents in other conditions: Sleet: 0.4 percent Snow and winds: 0.5 percent Freezing rain: 0.7 percent Snow: 2.4 percent
Source: Kansas Department of Transportation