Icy road conditions in Lee County hospitalized four people Wednesday, including two injured in a four-vehicle pileup on Interstate 85 in Opelika, authorities said.
At 10:10 a.m., officers with the Opelika Police Department were called to I-85, near the U.S. 280 exit to respond to a car accident with multiple injuries, according to Capt. Bruce DeLong of the OPD.
A preliminary investigation revealed that a Ford F-150 truck was travelling south on the interstate and lost control due to weather conditions, crossing over into the northbound lane after going through the median, DeLong said.
The truck then clipped a semi-truck, hit a Toyota Yaris then flipped over and hit a Chevy Cobalt. DeLong said there was one occupant per vehicle.
DeLong said emergency units took the driver of the F-150 to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment, in addition to the driver of the Yaris, who is currently listed in serious condition. The two drivers’ names were not released. None of the other drivers in the accident were hurt.
According to EAMC spokesperson John Atkinson, a total of four people were admitted to the emergency room Tuesday due to weather-related car accidents.
DeLong said that throughout the day, officers responded to multiple accidents in Opelika, but none as serious as the one on the interstate.
“We’ve had several other accidents that were also due to the weather,” DeLong said.
In preparation for the weather, the OPD has placed all of its officers on standby.
“It means that should things escalate or become more serious on the roadway, we can always have the availability to call more officers,” he said.
If someone is required to travel on the road, it is important for them to take precaution, DeLong said, such as slowing down and allowing more space between vehicles.
The biggest thing is to slow down, and if you don’t have to get out, don’t get out.
Capt. Lorenza Dorsey of the Auburn Police Division said that like the OPD, they too have officers on standby in case of emergency, in addition to working with the Public Works Department for any roads or bridges that need sanding. Dorsey said the only spot in Auburn to be sanded is the State Highway 267 overpass bridge that goes over State Highway 14.
“It’s the only one that we’ve been made aware of that has any accumulation that requires sanding,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey also cautioned residents from using generators inside the home.
“If you use a generator, do not use it in the house,” he said. “Make sure you have proper ventilation.”