The southbound lanes of Highway 75 in Collin County were closed most of the day, after a wreck involving 15 vehicles near Melissa.
Semi-trucks were scattered along with smaller vehicles on both sides of the southbound lanes. One truck driver said once he was hit, he wanted to move off the road to the right, but there was already another semi-truck right in his path, so all he could do was pull off into the median.
Drivers reported white-out conditions and without being able to see, they just started hearing crashes all around them. Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Investigators are trying to determine what started the chain reaction.
In Weatherford, the streets were snow-packed but drivable, for those who took their time. Parts of Parker County got anywhere from 3-4 inches of snow—-made worse by blowing wind.
The timing of the snow and the school district’s decision to dismiss class early, left parents of school age kids scrambling.
According to the Weatherford ISD website, the early 4 am to 6 am outlook was that snow would not likely be a factor. But as students started arriving, the snow blanketed the area more than they thought, so administrators switched plans and sent everyone home at 10:00. It left some parents in the lurch, arguing that classes shouldn’t have started at all because the roads were always too bad.
Snow and fast driving are blamed for a fatality wreck in Brock. DPS says 20-year-old Nicolas Garcia of North Richland Hills was driving his pickup truck too fast for conditions, left the highway and crashed into a semi pulling a trailer head-on. The driver of the semi was not hurt. To the east, a minor fender-bender on I-30 and highway 580 stacked up traffic for miles when two highways crested at the top of a hill; as other drivers stopped, they got stuck.
There were a number of wrecks in Denton County, but the worst may have been an overturned SUV on Northbound I-35E, just south of the Fox Avenue exit. Paramedics took the driver to a nearby hospital, and the accident caused a back up in both directions for quite a bit.
Early in the afternoon, there was a big back up on the ramp going from I-30 to I-35 south, also known as the mixmaster. An 18-wheeler stalled out on the ramp and needed a tow truck to help pull it through. Drivers were stuck for nearly an hour in their vehicles.
I-30 near downtown was a parking lot littered with cars that had spun, stalled or wrapped. Downtown Fort Worth was a traffic nightmare. Around noon, everyone tried to make a break for home early. Some drivers even had to climb out and help others over slick spots. Many of them were fighting traffic to pick up kids from school.
Matt Mclellan described it this way, “People just sliding all over the road blocking the roads. And then people just using one lane and going 10 miles an hour, it made it a long drawn out process.”
By 6 pm, Fort Worth police had reported responding to 617 accidents throughout the day.
Tow truck drivers told CBS 11 that at the height of the day, it was taking them two to three hours to respond to accidents in the Dallas area. Traffic was relatively light along major highways like I-635 and the High Five interchange where I-635 intersects with Highway 75. However, CBS 11 reporters spotted several cars loose traction and spin out on the icy roads. In some cases, drivers were forced to get out of their cars and push them to gain traction.
Dallas Police responded to more than 300 accidents from midnight to 7 pm on Friday. Nearly 100 accidents were classified as major, with 81 of those occurring on the freeways. A total of 235 accidents in Dallas were reported as minor.
For some folks in Dallas, the snow meant an afternoon of fun at Flag Pole Hill. Dozens of families came out with all kinds of make shift “sleds,” including cake pans, laundry baskets, and anything else that could withstand a few runs down one of Dallas’ best snow day attractions.