Accidents mark start of winter weather

WHITE BIRD – Winter’s first snowfall took motorists for a ride last week, resulting in numerous crashes, including one incident involving four vehicles that escalated when an Idaho Transportation Department snowplow slid into an Idaho County Sheriff’s patrol vehicle.

Idaho State Police is investigating last Thursday’s Nov. 13 incident that blocked U.S. Highway 95 on the south side of White Bird Hill for approximately one hour. No injuries were reported.

The incident was reported at 3:14 p.m. as ICSO Deputy Gideon Roberts was assisting Kelly M. Hayes, 62, of Nampa, whose 1988 Country Squire motor home had slid off the road due to icy conditions. According to ISP, a 2012 Mack truck snowplow (driven by Charles D. Bradley, 64, of Winchester), which was coming through to lay down gravel, slid into both Roberts’ 2012 Ford F150 and the motor home. Wayne E. Pierstorff, 54, of Grangeville, was passing the incident when he lost control of his 1999 Nissan that slid into the snowplow.

Last Thursday, the Idaho County Airport reported receiving from one to one and one-half inches of snow. ICSO reported multiple accidents that day, many due to slick winter conditions; six alone along the White Bird grade, and several others reported at Grangeville, State Highway 13, at the U.S. 95/Old Highway 7 intersection, Mt. Idaho Grade, Gun Club Road, Lukes Gulch Road, Greencreek Road, Lamms Grade and U.S. Highway 12.

In one of these, Mary A. Hicks, 56, of Fenn, was injured in a single vehicle rollover reported at 5:42 p.m. on Gun Club Road, five miles north of Grangeville.

According to an ICSO report, Hicks was southbound and slid off the snowpacked roadway onto the west embankment. Her 2001 Dodge pickup landed on its wheels. Hicks, who was wearing a seat belt, was transported to Syringa Hospital for treatment. Speed too fast for conditions was cited as a factor in the crash.

Speed and icy conditions were also factors in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 12 the following morning, Friday, Nov. 14, in which Michelle V. Schneider, 31, of Kamiah, was injured and transported to Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino. She was wearing a seat belt.

Reported at 7 a.m. near milepost 69, according to an ICSO report, Schneider was driving a 1994 Chevrolet Blazer westbound when she lost control of the vehicle. The Blazer went off the left shoulder and rolled down the embankment 100 feet before coming to rest against a tree. It took 30 minutes for Kamiah Ambulance crews to extricate Schneider from the damaged vehicle.

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