Vehicles roll at nearly the same spot

Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A small stretch of Interstate Highway 90 was particularly bad during Monday’s snowstorm, as two cars rolled off the road at almost exactly the same spot.

The accidents came near milepost 182, which is just west of Highway 56. Sheriff Terese Amazi said the area is sheltered from wind by a building on one side of the highway and trees on the other, meaning snow — and ice — accumulates easily.

The first accident came around 10:15 a.m., as the driver of a green Ford Explorer lost control and ended up in the ditch. Three passengers, including an 11-month old child, were not badly injured.

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However, the driver, 27-year-old Adam Estrada, of Austin, did suffer a small cut on his ear. A passenger, 21-year-old Beatriz Sandoval, also of Austin, told deputies that she had a sore hand. Neither were taken by ambulance.

Their car wasn’t as lucky — the SUV was totaled, according to a sheriff’s department report.

A little more than an hour later, a blue Ford Explorer wiped out near the same milepost, this time rolling over onto the median.

The Rose Creek Fire Department assisted with traffic after the accident, but neither driver Alejandro Paz, 24, of Austin nor passenger Sharon Mungia, also 24 and from Austin, required medical attention.

Paz was, however, cited by a state patrol trooper for not having a valid driver’s license and for not driving with necessary care.

Cars ticketed

With snowstorms also comes plowing, and with plowing inevitably comes cars being ticketed and towed for improper parking.

Monday into Tuesday was no different, as 40 cars were ticketed, according to the Mower County Law Enforcement Center.

Because a snow emergency went into effect late Monday in downtown and early Tuesday elsewhere in Austin, “calendar parking” is in effect for up to 72 hours. Under calendar parking, motorists must park on the even side of the street on even calendar days, and on the odd side on odd days.

Snow emergencies are typically declared when four inches of snow accumulates. When the current snowstorm ends, up to 10 inches of snow is expected in Austin.