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Highway Reopens after Accident on I-229 in St. Joseph

The St. Joseph Police Department asked drivers to avoid a stretch of Interstate 229 Monday due to multiple accidents.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph Police Department asked drivers to avoid a stretch of Interstate 229 Monday morning due to multiple accidents.

The accidents happened on I-229 between St. Joseph Avenue and Highway 36 in St. Joseph around 11:30 a.m.

Officers on the scene said four vehicles were involved, including a tractor trailer. Two people were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The accidents closed the southbound lanes of I-229. Officers had to re-route traffic in that area while they worked to clear the accident scene. The highway has since been reopened.

"Right as we got to the deck level here the highway changed to a sheet of ice immediately," said Dole Perkins.

Perkins was taking his granddaughter to school when they were stopped by the crash on I-229 near Edmond.

He says he feared for the worst when driving up the ramp.

"I seen how bad it was and I thought surely somebody was hurt or killed. When we got up here we could see where they went off the wall and spun around and had quite an accident up here," added Perkins.

Police say the crash happened when a driver tried to avoid a separate accident.

The driver then lost control and struck another vehicle.

"Four of them were involved including a semi-truck. The two cars that originally had problems ahead left the area and weren't involved in this collision," said Officer Pat Martin with the St. Joseph Police Department.

Police say motorists should be cautious and slow down when driving on an elevated surface - especially when snow is on the ground.

"Snows coming in from between the bridges here and it's just making for a real slippery surface," added officer Martin.
  
Perkins says he always drives with caution in this area because he was involved in an accident in 1996 near the same area.

"Broke my back in 3 places on some ice so it was pretty scary," said Perkins.

Police say weather was a factor in the crash and it should be a reminder to motorists just how dangerous it can be.

"Be able to drive within your abilities for the given conditions and the roadways. When you're up here you don't feel like you have very many places to go so it is kind of scary," said Martin.
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