Icy patch catches drivers by surprise

January 8, 2010 10:10:35 AM PST
A car crash on Bingle at Highway 290 was minor, but the problem, apparently created by a leaking underground pipe, is serious. Ice on Bingle made the morning miserable for five people heading to work just after 6:30am. A nearby fire hydrant appeared to be leaking water which quickly froze into an ice patch that wasn't easy for drivers to see. Drivers slammed on their brakes, but on the ice, their vehicles kept right on going.

"I felt like my brakes went out on me," recalled driver Jesse Rivera. "It just slid. I was sliding and that was it."

Police say first a pickup truck hit a tree, then a driver following the truck slammed on her brakes and slid. She avoided the truck, but ended up being hit by three other drivers who were all unable to stop. In all, there were five cars with major damage.

Driver Maria Corona said, "It was a funny feeling because the wheel didn't stop, it just rolled for a little bit. To me, (it felt like) a long time but it was probably seconds."

All that slipping and sliding is an unfamiliar feeling for Houston drivers. For hours after the accident, a mobility response team had to block off two lanes of Bingle while officers directed drivers around the ice and tried to get them to slow down.

Police officers remind drivers it doesn't take much water to create a dangerous situation on the roads.


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