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Afternoon snow, ice lead to flurry of Spokane-area accidents

Max Springer uses his cellphone to take a photograph of a snowy scene on Howard Street in downtown Spokane on Friday. A cold front is expected to bring snow to the mountain passes this weekend and frigid temperatures to the Inland Northwest next week. (Colin Mulvany)
Max Springer uses his cellphone to take a photograph of a snowy scene on Howard Street in downtown Spokane on Friday. A cold front is expected to bring snow to the mountain passes this weekend and frigid temperatures to the Inland Northwest next week. (Colin Mulvany)

Snow and ice snarled Spokane-area traffic and caused multiple sliding accidents on Friday afternoon.

According to the Washington State Patrol, slick conditions led to 57 non-injury or minor-injury accidents after 1:30 p.m. Friday. There were no reports of major accidents, WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney said.

An unoccupied WSP patrol car was struck by a driver on U.S. Highway 195 at Thorpe Road, and two rollover accidents were reported. Multiple collisions occurred on Interstate 90 and U.S. Highways 195 and 395, according to the WSP.

Sevigney’s advice to drivers was to slow down.

When the roads are slick, “give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going,” Sevigney said. “That’s typically our biggest problem is people don’t adjust their speed for the roadway.”

Friday’s snowfall could be a precursor to expected precipitation and frigid temperatures moving into the region early next week. Temperatures could be near record lows, and forecasters are predicting high temperatures that may not climb above 20 degrees for the first time since February 2011.

Several mountain passes could prove treacherous as snow begins to fall late Sunday, forecasters said.



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