Slick, snowy roads send drivers into ditches and cause crashes in southern Illinois

VIENNA, IL — While in Paducah, snowfall didn’t last too long Friday night as a winter storm made its way through the region, up in southern Illinois, it was a different story.

Conditions made driving extremely dangerous. In Vienna, Illinois, there was a fair amount of accumulation before the snowfall transitioned to rain.

As we made our way to Vienna, there was quite a bit of snow on I-24, and several drivers ended up off the road.

When we were near Vienna, we saw a car in a ditch in the highway median. We checked on the driver and passenger to see if they were OK. They were not injured, and a trooper soon arrived to call a tow truck.

During our drive to Vienna, we saw three wrecks in total. When we finally got to town, we met two families who were traveling together from St. Louis to Nashville for a dance convention. They told us their trip has not been easy.

Driver Gena Harness told us she saw “lots of snow, lots of cars in ditches, lots of tow trucks. What else have we seen? And again, no one paving the way for us.”

She said they heard things are be a lot worse in their hometown.

“Eight to 12 inches is what we’re supposed to be getting in out neighborhood,” she said. “We live in the same neighborhood. Supposedly, they’ve been shutting the roads down, so you can’t get in and out of our neighborhood.”

So, while they continue to Tennessee, they are taking extra precautions.

“Going really slow and just following someone’s tracks or a line of cars, so at least someone is around us if we did happen to get in a ditch. Someone will be able to spot us and know where we’re at,” she said.

There was also a report of a crash on Interstate 57 in Franklin County. Emergency responders say the northbound crash, which was at the 72 mile marker, had traffic at a standstill for quite some time while vehicles were removed from the roadway.  After the road was cleared, the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency warned the drivers should avoid traveling that night because of road conditions.

If you get stranded in the snow, the best thing to do is stay in your car. Run your engine for 10 minutes every hour, and crack your window to let a bit of air in while you wait for help.