Snow, rain lead to multiple crashes

A GMC truck driven by John Cox, 34, of Walker, slid into the creek along Volcano Road Monday morning. It was one of 31 crashes reported in Wood County between 11 a.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

PARKERSBURG — Snow Sunday changed to rain overnight, leading to slushy roads and a slick commute Monday morning.

The weather was believed to be the primary factor in 31 crashes in Wood County in a 24-hour period starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, authorities said, including a single-vehicle wreck Monday morning that injured a Walker man.

The crash was reported around 9 a.m. by a passing school bus driver, according to Deputy J. Wetzel, with the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

The GMC truck was traveling west in the 3500 block of Volcano Road in Walker when driver John Cox, 34, of Walker, lost control and slid into the creek beside the road, Wetzel said.

“It appears he hydroplaned due to excessive speed,” Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Sims said.

A GMC truck driven by John Cox, 34, of Walker, slid into the creek along Volcano Road Monday morning. It was one of 31 crashes reported in Wood County between 11 a.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

An update on Cox’s condition was not available Monday afternoon.

While some crashes involved other factors, such as a driver falling asleep at the wheel and striking a tree on Turkey Foot Road near Mineral Wells, the bulk of the crashes were weather-related, Sims said.

There were a handful of crashes in Washington County Monday morning as well. A dispatcher with the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported “a few morning slide-offs but nothing too major.”

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said a tractor-trailer rig got stuck on slippery Slaughterhouse Hill in Marietta around 9 a.m. and there were a few other crashes, but no serious injuries.

Mincks declared a level two snow emergency Sunday afternoon, warning people that roadways were hazardous with blowing snow and only those who felt it was necessary to drive should do so. As temperatures warmed Monday, he reduced it to a level one, still urging caution while traveling.

In Roane County, Charleston Road was closed between Gandeeville and Walton Monday morning after a tree fell into power lines, likely due to heavy rain Sunday night. One lane had been opened as of 9:50 a.m. Monday.

A winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Charleston expired around 10 a.m. Monday, but a flood watch for the Parkersburg area will continue through tonight and a river flood warning for the Ohio River will continue through Friday.

Rain is expected to continue through today with highs in the low 50s before giving way to partly cloudy skies and highs in the low 40s Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service web site. Temperatures at night will fall below freezing, and authorities warn drivers to be cautious of icy roads and bridges.

(Staff writers Michael Erb and Madeline Scarborough contributed to this story.)

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