Icy roads lead to crashes throughout southern Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Even as temperatures surpassed freezing, roads remained slick and icy around midday. MoDOT listed most of the Ozarks as covered by winter weather conditions.

“It was a very challenging morning,” says Chris Berndt, fire chief with the Western Taney County Fire Protection District.

For first responders, they are thankful those in Branson and Taney County decided to stay home. But a call for assistance from Southern Stone County proved to be just too much.

“We tried to go assist Southern Stone County on a call, and as far as I know, that is the first time ever, we had to tell them we can’t come,” says Chief Berndt.

It wasn’t just the fire department who had issues this morning, “One of our trucks slid off and from one point from what I understand. We had at least three trucks that were slid off at the same time. There’s been no injuries or anything like that from our crews,” says Johnathan Tudor with the Taney County Ambulance District.

Tudor says that there wasn’t a patient in the ambulance at the time but that medics were responding to a call for service when they went off the road.

“We were able to get a second truck to that call. So, we have been able to take care of all our patients and get crews to them, but it has been very slow going,” says Tudor.

West Plains and Southern Missouri have seen much of the same.

“Your Missouri State Routes and lettered highways are a hundred percent iced covered. We are having a lot of trouble in areas with large hills, in the areas where the road might have some lean to it,” says Sgt. Eddie Young with Troop G of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Every first responder we talked to says the best thing to do is just stay home if you can.

“The best thing people can do right now is to just stay home, allow the temperatures to come up, and allow those treatments to work on the roads. And then by tomorrow, resume like normal. We’re going to get over this,” says Sgt. Young.

But one Taney County resident is prepared just in case he gets stuck.

“Chains…the security kits, I have all of it,” says Chad Callison of Taney County.

Tudor says he wants to thank one special Good Samaritan, Kevin Orduno. Mr. Ordono came along the ambulance with Taney County and picked up one of the paramedics, and drove them to the life-threatening call they were responding to so the patient could get medical help while another ambulance was sent to the call.

Ordono then returned to the ambulance and used his truck and winch to get the ambulance out of the ditch.

“This Good Samaritan made a significant difference in that patient’s life,” says Tudor.

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