UNION COUNTY — The Union County Sheriff’s Office is urging the public to stay off the roads after more than two dozen automobile accidents caused by icy conditions within an 11-hour period.
A winter weather system that moved through the region Tuesday brought approximately an inch of snow and below freezing temperatures to the county. The snow, which began Tuesday afternoon, tapered off during the night, but the below freezing temperatures remained and will continue throughout the day and into tonight.
The freezing temperatures have brought with them hazardous road conditions that have resulted in a series of automobile accidents throughout the county since Tuesday night.
“We’ve been extremely busy with people going to and from work and being out and about hitting icy patches,” Capt. Robbie Hines of the Union County Sheriff’s Office said this morning. “It’s been all around the county and since 10 p.m. last night we’ve had 28 wrecks that were directly attributable to the ice.”
Hines said that fortunately only a few of the accidents have resulted in injuries.
“We’ve had a few instances where we’ve had to transport drivers to the hospital for injuries suffered in the wrecks,” Hines said. “Mostly though its just been cars sliding off the road with minor damage and no injuries.”
In addition to responding to accidents, Hines said deputies have also gone to the assistance of motorists with disabled vehicles.
“There have been a couple of instances where people have had their batteries die on them or ran out of gas,” Hines said. “We’ve helped people who’ve found themselves in those situations and we’ve also helped those whose cars have slid off the road and found themselves stuck in the mud.”
Hines said the sheriff’s office is out in force working with the SC Highway Patrol to respond to accident scenes and to continue assisting motorists. However, he said the sheriff’s office is advising the public to stay off the roads if at all possible or, if they have to be out, to drive cautiously.
“People should stay off the roads or if you have to drive use extreme caution,” Hines said. “For example, leave early enough so you have enough time to get to your destination without rushing.”
Hines said anyone who finds themselves in an emergency situation should call 911.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.