Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Slick bridge leads to accidents, delays


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Ice on state Highway 75 bridge near Greenhorn Gulch caused two traffic accidents early Friday morning and led to commuter delays of an hour or more while a crew sanded down the bridge.

Both north- and southbound traffic was halted shortly after 6:30 a.m. after two vehicles crashed within 16 minutes of each other while crossing the ice-covered bridge, said Blaine County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jay Davis. One man rolled his pickup and was transported to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

The first mishap occurred at 6:19 a.m. when a northbound white 1996 Ford Ranger pickup, driven by Charles Wright, 47, of Hailey, went out of control, skidded and flipped when it hit drier pavement on the north side of the bridge, Davis said. The vehicle rolled once, flipped upright and skidded off the side of the road.

Wright was transported to the hospital by a Ketchum Fire Department ambulance and later released, Davis said.

The second crash occurred at 6:35 a.m. in almost the same location when an Oklahoma man lost control of his northbound maroon 2001 GMC sport utility vehicle and slammed into the guardrail. Davis said 24-year-old Ian Alex Reed, of Cyrio, Okla., wasn't injured.

Davis said a Blaine County deputy halted traffic after the second accident.

"The reason they closed the highway was to get the sand trucks out there to sand down the bridge because it was so slick," he said.

Davis said citations weren't issued to either Reed or Wright.

Grumbling commuters between Ketchum and Hailey reported delays of an hour or more.




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