[FORECAST: When does the mercury go back up?]
It was a busy morning for tow truck drivers in the Pasadena area. In a matter of about an hour and a half beginning at 5:30am, there were six different accident involving 16 cars, none of which were any match for the ice that accumulated on the overpasses at 225 at Preston, forcing Pasadena police to shut down the freeway.
As the temperatures inched upwards, the boiling points of drivers went hotter and hotter. Traffic was diverted to the feeder roads, causing massive traffic backups.
"We've been driving this around, trying to wait for the toll bridge to open up so we can go over the toll," said one driver stuck in traffic who we spoke with.
To make matters worse, most of the traffic lights along the feeder weren't working.
A lot of the people we spoke with Thursday morning say they just weren't prepared for this. Officials in the east part of the county hope they won't have to deal with this again for the evening rush.
The icy roads did prove tragic this morning. Road crews spread sand on the Highway 242 bridge just after a fatal accident claimed one life. The accident, which officials are blaming on slick roads, happened just north of The Woodlands. One person was killed and two others were taken to the hospital by Life Flight.
Across Houston, icy roads caused dozens of chain reaction collisions. A crash on the North Loop involved a METRO bus, an 18-wheeler and at least four vehicles.
"There was so many cars in front of us and the 18-wheelers and we just tried to get out of the way and don't hit the back of those cars and the 18-wheelers," said one driver.P> On I-10, the eastbound feeder road iced over at the Greens Bayou Bridge. One driver nearly ended up in the water and others hit the ice and landed on the grass.
"It's like I went in the air and then I came across on the grass," said a driver who lost control. "I saw I was going to head into the bayou and I said 'no' and I was conscious enough and I spinned the steering wheel and it hit the utility pole."
The accidents kept police officers busy and traffic backed up for miles. Police officers say the overall lack of experience on icy roads made matters worse.
"They are just driving like they normally do every day and then when they hit the ice it catches them off guard," said an HPD officer with whom we spoke.
Even after the sun came up, drivers were still dealing with icy conditions. A driver lost control of his vehicle around 9:30am and slammed into a guardrail while trying to exit I-45 near The Woodlands.
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