Icy roads cause hundreds of wrecks across the Triangle

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Sunday, December 18, 2016
Hundreds of wrecks reported around the Triangle from icy conditions
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Freezing rain led to slick roads and crashes

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Freezing rain overnight created treacherous driving conditions, causing hundreds of crashes and wrecks across the viewing area.

Drivers were strongly advised to remain off the roads until conditions improved.

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Raleigh police alone handled nearly 200 accidents and more than a dozen hit-and-run accidents from 11 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday.

"I saw somebody slipping and sliding in front of me, and I thought the person was drunk. Then I realized, I think the roads are icy," said motorist Alberta Parson.

Morrisville Police Chief Patrice Andrews urged drivers to slow down. She told ABC11 drivers are acting like the roads are dry, which they were not.

"The bridges got icy very quickly," Andrews said. "And my officers were finding out even as they were driving, that they were sliding."

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Fire crews rushed to a wreck on an I-85 bridge in Durham, over Guess Road. Crews told ABC11 several people were hurt in that crash.

"When you hit ice on a bridge, eventually you're going to get to the point where you reach solid pavement, and your wheels will catch," Andrews said, advising drivers steer into the skid. "Eventually. And the hope is, it'll be a scary moment but you will be safe and you'll be able to steer clear of it."

On Victory Church Road in Raleigh, a Jeep careened off the road and took out a power pole. Lanes are closed as crews work to repair the downed power lines. Authorities have not said if anyone was hurt.

WATCH: Different types of winter precipitation

Winds will turn out of the south, and this will help usher in a welcome warm up. Temps moved above freezing by mid-morning and into the upper 40s to perhaps low 50s late afternoon. The light rain will end in the morning, but will be some drizzle Saturday afternoon. Fog and drizzle are a pretty good bet Saturday night as temperatures continue to go up in the overnight hours.

A cold front will approach late in the weekend. This front brings showers, and perhaps even a thunderstorm, to central North Carolina on Sunday then periods of rain Sunday night through Monday.