Friday, December 23, 2005

Warm days, icy eves make driving risky

Express Staff Writer

As people got out their umbrellas for this week's spate of warm, rainy weather, road conditions deteriorated with colder evening temperatures creating frozen slick surfaces. The worst events happened Monday evening south of Timmerman Hill on state Highway 75, resulting in about a dozen slide-offs and a couple of collisions.

Among those who were injured were Joe and Patricia Fos, of Hailey, who are being treated at Magic Valley Regional Medical Center in Twin Falls.

The Foses are both listed in fair condition. Joe Fos is the leader of the Joe Fos Trio, which performs regularly at Sun Valley Resort.

Police warn that icy hazards could persist as temperatures return to freezing.

Hailey resident Laura Hall, who works for the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, said she slid off the highway Monday on her way to Twin Falls to pick up family members arriving for the holidays.

Hall said that as police were trying to clear the roads, they stopped by to check on her twice as they attended to more serious accidents on an "as needed" basis. She said it took about three hours before a tow truck was able to get her back on the road.

"It was a kind of triage type thing," Hall said, explaining that in avoiding a collision on the road she spun out and came to a stop in the lava beds near the Shoshone Ice Caves. She said she had a blanket to keep warm and was towed out in time to get home before her family arrived at the airport. They then stayed in Twin Falls for the night and rented a car the next day to make the trip back.

"Coming over Timmerman Hill there was no ice," Hall said. "Half a mile south of the Trading Post I could see the (emergency vehicle) lights. It was freezing. It hit fast. The cars that came by were creeping along at 10 to 15 miles per hour."

In Sun Valley on Wednesday, a city snow plow slid off the road and was stuck for several hours before it could be extracted from a ditch.

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