ELKHART — First responders were busy Monday morning, March 18, with more than 30 accidents reported between 7 and 10 a.m.
Egbert Dijkstra, Elkhart County 911 Communication director, said there were about 20 accidents being worked on at the same time around 8:30 a.m. Before that there had been another 10 accidents reported. A total number of 37 accidents were reported in the county. Dijkstra said 11 of those accidents involved personal injuries.
An accident on U.S. 20 closed the bypass near S.R. 19 at 7 a.m. The road reopened by 8:30 a.m.
Capt. Jim Bradberry, public information officer for the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, said he did not think any of the accidents involving injuries were serious.
Two accidents that happened just around 7 a.m. on U.S. 20 left a few people with minor injuries.
At 6:50 a.m. on U.S. 20 just west of C.R. 3 a semi-trailer collided with an SUV when the SUV had to slow down after losing control on the icy roads. The SUV was sent off the road and rolled over before coming to a stop on its side. The driver of the semi-trailer, Kristopher Robison, 34, of Elwood, Ind., was cited for “conditions requiring driving at a reduced speed.” He was also given a warning for following too close. Robison complained of pain to the left shoulder. The driver of the SUV, Ann Leodanski, 40, of Mishawaka, complained of pain to her head, shoulder and chest.
On the other side of C.R. 3 at 7 a.m., officers responded to a three-vehicle accident. David Moyer, 38, of Goshen, was driving a pickup truck when he lost control of the vehicle and spun around before hitting a pickup truck driven by Rodney Davis, 41, of Bristol. A third vehicle driven by Frank Devries, 52, of Elco, Nevada, hit the two pickup trucks. Moyer was taken to Elkhart General Hospital with a complaint of shoulder pain.
He said many of the accidents, including slide-offs and rollovers, happened on the bypass. Bradberry attributed most of the accidents to the weather and road conditions.
“The roads were dry this morning and everything was quiet. And then the freezing rain fell, and that’s when all those crashes happened,” he said.
The weather could cause slick road conditions the next few days as well, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS reports that lake effect snow showers are expected Tuesday through Thursday, mainly on the north side of Elkhart County. Snow accumulation may be seen Wednesday evening, mostly after 9 p.m., and into Thursday morning.
Temperatures Wednesday and Thursday are expected to reach a high of 30 degrees.
Drivers are asked to use caution when driving in hazardous road conditions, said NWS.