Heavy snow blamed for more than 20 accidents in Douglas County, but none with major injuries

photo by: City of Lawrence

A plow truck drives through the intersection of Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive, at 10:33 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.

Story last updated at 6:30 p.m. Friday

Friday’s snow was blamed for more than 20 wrecks in Douglas County, none of which involved major injuries, according to law enforcement agencies.

After heavy snow began falling around 8:30 a.m., the Lawrence Police Department responded to 17 accidents by the end of the business day when snow had tapered off, Officer Derrick Smith said. He said none resulted in significant injuries.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office handled five wrecks, most of which occurred before noon, said Sgt. Kristen Channel of that agency. In one of those, she said, the driver suffered injuries but they weren’t life-threatening.

Fluffy snow piled up throughout the day, as Lawrence public schools canceled classes Friday and area authorities warned drivers to use caution. Reports of accidents and cars struggling on hills in town could be heard over emergency radio traffic.

Snow accumulation during Friday’s winter weather advisory was predicted to total 3 to 5 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Topeka. Temperatures were expected to dip to 9 degrees overnight.

Saturday could see more snow, but not more than half an inch later in the day, the weather service predicted. There is a 60 percent chance of snow between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and then snow is likely, possibly mixed with freezing rain, Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Saturday’s high was predicted to be 27 degrees with an overnight low of 19 degrees.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd

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