Travel warning in place after troopers called to over 440 crashes across state Thursday

Travel warning in place after troopers called to over 440 crashes across state Thursday
Virginia State Police says no one was injured in a crash that occurred in Prince George County. (Source: Virginia State Police)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Transportation is issuing a travel warning to drivers due to weather and road conditions in the region.

Between midnight and 9 p.m. Thursday, Virginia State Police responded to 310 stuck/disabled vehicles and 442 traffic crashes on state highways.

VSP said the majority of the crashes have only involved damage to vehicles, but troopers are investigating a deadly single-vehicle crash in Caroline County. At this stage in the investigation, police do not think it was weather-related.

VDOT is reminding all drivers to avoid non-essential travel Friday because of precipitation and freezing weather.

Crews continue to monitor roads for black ice and treating any slick spots with salt and sand.

“The safety of the traveling public is our top priority,” said Richmond District Infrastructure Manager Steve Fritton. “We’re asking drivers to use extra caution this morning because slick spots can occur anywhere and develop without warning. When the temperature is below freezing and the pavement is wet, the conditions are prime for the instantaneous formation of black ice.”

Drivers should allow extra time on their commute and reduce their speed.

Here are some tips for drivers to use if traveling:

  • Avoid travel during and after this event. There is no safe way to drive in icy conditions. Plan travel around winter weather – not during. Pay close attention to local forecasts and utilize VDOT’s 511 app and 511Virginia.org to check on road conditions.
  • If travel is essential, avoid passing snow plows and other heavy equipment or following them too closely. Please give VDOT crews room to work.
  • Report road hazards to VDOT at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) or visit my.vdot.virginia.gov.

Crews are positioned throughout the 14-county district and preparing to address possible slick spots. Salt will be used to break down icy patches, and sand will be applied to enhance traction for vehicle tires.

Crew’s main focus will primarily be on interstate and primary routes, as well as major roads to essential services.

Work will continue to restore access to secondary and neighborhood routes in the coming days.

In Richmond, there are roughly 50 trucks out treating the roads, and officials anticipate the biggest weather challenges to be Thursday evening and overnight.

The Department of Public Works has closed the following locations due to the potential for ice build-up:

  • Westover Hills Boulevard at Riverside Drive
  • Park Drive at Shirley Lane
  • East Byrd Street at South 4th Street
  • North 23rd Street at East Franklin Street
  • North 23rd Street at East Grace Street
  • Whitehead Road at Greenbank Road
  • Whitehead Road at Derwent Road
  • Magnolia and Rady
  • 2nd Street connector
  • Nickel Bridge
  • Gates to Byrd and Bryan Parks are closed to vehicles

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