Traffic backed up on I-10 as police continue to urge motorists to stay off the roads – Press-Register

MOBILE, Alabama – Traffic is backed up on eastbound Interstate 10 and has left motorists
stalled on entrance ramps as authorities continue to stress that people should
not be driving
.

“The
Department understands Mobilians may need to drive for necessary items.
However, we strongly caution citizens against driving,” Mobile police
spokeswoman Ashley Rains said. “Roadways are still treacherous and ice that
melted will likely freeze again causing black ice conditions.”

Vince Calametti, engineer with the Alabama Department of Transportation’s southern region, said that traffic delays are expected for another half hour on I-10 as crews work to remove slush and ice that has been built up near the George Wallace Tunnel.

The eastbound interstate has been closed since early in the morning when, around 10 a.m., two 18-wheel trucks hit ice spots and crashed, Calametti said. Then, a recreational vehicle pulling a car his an ice spot and also crashed.

“We had a mess out there for several hours,” Calametti said.

He said because eastbound I-10 has not been traveled on all day, it’s too dangerous for vehicles and that — once the tunnel opens — traffic will be routed to the Causeway where conditions are better.

In the meantime, Calametti said a salt truck and plow will tackle the I-10 Bayway after it makes a pass along the Cochran-Africantown Bridge, which has been closed due to the icy conditions.

Mobile police, meanwhile,
have since removed almost all barricades. The only barricades remaining are at Howells Ferry Road between Carlisle and Colonial and the Airport
Boulevard ramp at I-65.

But
the black ice conditions have police and ALDOT officials concerned.

Temperatures
are expected to drop to below freezing later this evening, which will likely
cause roads to re-freeze and create dangerous driving conditions.

Calametti said that eastbound I-10 might not reopen until later tonight, but he said it’s frustrating that people are out driving around in
what is still considered a dangerous situation.

“We
had a salting operating in Baldwin County heading to the Delta River
and an 18- wheeler hit our … truck,” Calametti said. “The traffic out
in this time is
not helping our operations. We need to think of safety also. We can only
do
what we can do.”

The concerns from road crews are not stopping motorists from attempting to get onto
I-10.

Barb Sallert of St. Paul, Minn., is stranded on the entrance
ramp to the interstate waiting for authorities to arrive to what an Alabama
Department of Transportation official described as a crash, although Mobile
police and the Fire-Rescue Department do not have additional information.

Sallert drove from Mississippi to Mobile on Tuesday, and was
planning to drive to Pensacola Wednesday.

To them, driving in slick condition is nothing new. Sallert
said she did not know that the area doesn’t treat the roads before a rare winter
weather event strikes.

“I noticed people didn’t know how to drive here,” Sallert
said.

Vehicles are stranded on I-10 in both directions. An ALDOT
official could not be reached immediately for comment.

AL.com Photographer Sharon Steinmann contributed to this report.

Head-on Collision Kills Three on I-10 – WKRG

Three people are dead in an fiery head-on collision on Interstate 10 in Grand Bay.

UA researches says days surrounding holidays are the most dangerous time on …

TUSCALOOSA, AL -

According to a study released by The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety, the past 10 years of Alabama crash data during six-day periods surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, UA researchers found heavy traffic surrounding all three major holidays can increase the chances for automobile accidents. However, in 2012, the six-day period that includes Christmas had 18 percent more auto accidents than the Thanksgiving period and 27 percent more than the days around New Year’s Day.

 

The report says in 2012, there were 1,996 crashes from Dec. 21-26, with 10 fatal accidents. During the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after the holiday last year, there were 1,698 crashes, with nine fatal crashes. From Dec. 27 to New Year’s Day in 2013, there were 1,552 accidents, with 10 fatal crashes. For all three holidays, the severity of crashes was about the same with just more than 20 percent of crashes resulting in injuries, including the fatal crashes.

The study says traveling on the actual holidays are generally the safest since there is less traffic, according to the crash data.

Meredith Armstrong will have more on this story tonight at 5.

Small plane makes emergency landing in open field near Trussville …

A small plane made an emergency landing in a rural area near Trussville on Thanksgiving Day morning.

The incident happened just before 10:00am CT, southeast of Trussville near Pine Bluff Trail.

The Trussville Police Department tells Alabama’s 13 News Digital Journalist Sarah Killian that the single-engine Beechcraft plane lost power, and crash landed in an open field, and ended up in a tree.

Three people were on board the plane, and no major injuries were reported.

The passengers were flying from Virginia Beach, Virginia, en route to the Birmingham airport.

Those on board were a father, his son, and his son’s girlfriend.

There was no fire, and the Federal Aviation Administration is on the scene investigating.

The plane landed next to a barn with most intact, except the tail is broken off.

A Trussville Police officer says they were surprised to see people walking around the crash site when officers arrived.

The TPD praises the pilot for an excellent landing in those circumstances.

Alabama Crash Data Shows Holidays are a Dangerous Time on the Roads

The days just before Christmas, as people rush to buy presents and travel to holiday destinations, can be more dangerous on roadways than the days surrounding Thanksgiving and New Year’s, according to a recent study of traffic data by The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety.

Analyzing the past 10 years of Alabama crash data during six-day periods surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, UA researchers found heavy traffic surrounding all three major holidays can increase the chances for automobile accidents. However, in 2012, the six-day period that includes Christmas had 18 percent more auto accidents than the Thanksgiving period and 27 percent more than the days around New Year’s Day, according to the center, known as CAPS.

“The shopping days before Christmas are perilous,” said Dr. David Brown, a professor of computer science at UA and a research associate with CAPS.

The study employed the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment, or CARE, a software analysis system developed by CAPS research and development personnel to automatically mine information from existing databases.  Crash records for the study were provided by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

The study analyzed crashes over the past 10 years that occurred during the six-days that included Thanksgiving and compared them with similar periods that included Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In 2012, there were 1,996 crashes from Dec. 21-26, with 10 fatal accidents. During the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after the holiday last year, there were 1,698 crashes, with nine fatal crashes. From Dec. 27 to New Year’s Day in 2013, there were 1,552 accidents, with 10 fatal crashes. For all three holidays, the severity of crashes was about the same with just more than 20 percent of crashes resulting in injuries, including the fatal crashes.

“Clearly Thanksgiving week and the days leading up to and including New Year’s Eve and Day are much lower than the six-day period that included Christmas,” Brown said. “While fatal crashes were comparable, crashes involving injuries and those with only property damage were significantly higher mainly before Christmas. This was probably a result of the increased traffic due to late Christmas shopping, coupled with long distance travel where many might not be familiar with their travel environment.”

Still, it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison over the 10-year study because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a different day of the week each year. “It was harder to study these holidays over the 10-year period than it is Thanksgiving,” Brown said. “The impact of the weekends has a large influence on the traffic patterns around these holidays.”

Traveling on the actual holidays are generally the safest since there is less traffic, according to the crash data.

With Christmas this year on a Wednesday, the major problem days will be the prior Friday, Monday and Tuesday.  Each day has its own peculiarities, so this is based on the generally observed patterns, Brown said. Christmas has not fallen on a Wednesday in the past 10 years, so 2012, with a Tuesday as Christmas, is probably the best comparison. Brown said he was reluctant to go back more than ten years because of the large changes in the demographics over this time period.

Generally, Christmas Eve has lighter traffic than Dec. 21-23, depending on where the weekend falls. Brown said this is probably caused by some stores closing relatively early on Christmas Eve, thus avoiding the late night hours that can be quite problematic because of the presence of impaired driving.

“Christmas itself is a very low day because very few people are on the road,” Brown said. “Impaired driving is probably not nearly as much of a relative causal issue in the days before Christmas as the concentration in the traffic.  However, people can control their drinking. The best countermeasures would be to avoid both the late night hours and the days in which everyone else is on the roads.”

There were no clear patterns after Christmas with the exception of the normal surge on Friday for years where people return to work after Christmas, and Friday tends to become a work day.

On any given week, Fridays are typically the worst days for crashes, especially Friday afternoons, with many people in the commuter and more distant traveler mix and the additional influence of alcohol and drug use that starts at this time in anticipation of the weekend.

For the week of Thanksgiving, this “Friday pattern” tends to move back to Wednesday, but traffic patterns are changing, according to the CAPS analysis.

About a decade ago, the day before Thanksgiving had a much higher number of crashes as Friday patterns merged with holiday travel, but over the past five years it appears people have been heeding advice to leave earlier to avoid the rush, Brown said.

“While we have an increase number of crashes on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, these days are not nearly as dangerous as the Wednesday once was due to the crashes being spread out over these days,” he said. “We advise people to leave as early as their work schedules might allow.”

As for New Year’s Eve, once considered one of the worse times of the year for crash fatalities caused by impaired driving, data shows initiatives to decrease impaired driving have paid off. Initiatives such as targeted enforcement, cultural awareness for designating non-impaired drivers, free taxi services, overtime pay for more local and state police presences, safety programs and publicity of the dangers of impaired driving have borne fruit, Brown said.

“There is no doubt that all of these have combined to save lives,” he said. “However, we still recommend that driving during this potentially hazardous time be avoided altogether if it all possible.”

 

Source: The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety

Roads More Dangerous Around Christmas Than Thanksgiving or New Year’s …

The days just before Christmas, as people rush to buy presents and travel to holiday destinations, can be more dangerous on roadways than the days surrounding Thanksgiving and New Year’s, according to a recent study of traffic data by The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety.

Analyzing the past 10 years of Alabama crash data during six-day periods surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, UA researchers found heavy traffic surrounding all three major holidays can increase the chances for automobile accidents. However, in 2012, the six-day period that includes Christmas had 18 percent more auto accidents than the Thanksgiving period and 27 percent more than the days around New Year’s Day, according to the center, known as CAPS.

“The shopping days before Christmas are perilous,” said Dr. David Brown, a professor of computer science at UA and a research associate with CAPS.

The study employed the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment, or CARE, a software analysis system developed by CAPS research and development personnel to automatically mine information from existing databases. Crash records for the study were provided by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

The study analyzed crashes over the past 10 years that occurred during the six-days that included Thanksgiving and compared them with similar periods that included Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In 2012, there were 1,996 crashes from Dec. 21-26, with 10 fatal accidents. During the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after the holiday last year, there were 1,698 crashes, with nine fatal crashes. From Dec. 27 to New Year’s Day in 2013, there were 1,552 accidents, with 10 fatal crashes. For all three holidays, the severity of crashes was about the same with just more than 20 percent of crashes resulting in injuries, including the fatal crashes.

“Clearly Thanksgiving week and the days leading up to and including New Year’s Eve and Day are much lower than the six-day period that included Christmas,” Brown said. “While fatal crashes were comparable, crashes involving injuries and those with only property damage were significantly higher mainly before Christmas. This was probably a result of the increased traffic due to late Christmas shopping, coupled with long distance travel where many might not be familiar with their travel environment.”

Still, it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison over the 10-year study because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a different day of the week each year. “It was harder to study these holidays over the 10-year period than it is Thanksgiving,” Brown said. “The impact of the weekends has a large influence on the traffic patterns around these holidays.”

Traveling on the actual holidays are generally the safest since there is less traffic, according to the crash data.

With Christmas this year on a Wednesday, the major problem days will be the prior Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Each day has its own peculiarities, so this is based on the generally observed patterns, Brown said. Christmas has not fallen on a Wednesday in the past 10 years, so 2012, with a Tuesday as Christmas, is probably the best comparison. Brown said he was reluctant to go back more than ten years because of the large changes in the demographics over this time period.

Generally, Christmas Eve has lighter traffic than Dec. 21-23, depending on where the weekend falls. Brown said this is probably caused by some stores closing relatively early on Christmas Eve, thus avoiding the late night hours that can be quite problematic because of the presence of impaired driving.

“Christmas itself is a very low day because very few people are on the road,” Brown said. “Impaired driving is probably not nearly as much of a relative causal issue in the days before Christmas as the concentration in the traffic. However, people can control their drinking. The best countermeasures would be to avoid both the late night hours and the days in which everyone else is on the roads.”

There were no clear patterns after Christmas with the exception of the normal surge on Friday for years where people return to work after Christmas, and Friday tends to become a work day.

On any given week, Fridays are typically the worst days for crashes, especially Friday afternoons, with many people in the commuter and more distant traveler mix and the additional influence of alcohol and drug use that starts at this time in anticipation of the weekend.

For the week of Thanksgiving, this “Friday pattern” tends to move back to Wednesday, but traffic patterns are changing, according to the CAPS analysis.

About a decade ago, the day before Thanksgiving had a much higher number of crashes as Friday patterns merged with holiday travel, but over the past five years it appears people have been heeding advice to leave earlier to avoid the rush, Brown said.

“While we have an increase number of crashes on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, these days are not nearly as dangerous as the Wednesday once was due to the crashes being spread out over these days,” he said. “We advise people to leave as early as their work schedules might allow.”

As for New Year’s Eve, once considered one of the worse times of the year for crash fatalities caused by impaired driving, data shows initiatives to decrease impaired driving have paid off. Initiatives such as targeted enforcement, cultural awareness for designating non-impaired drivers, free taxi services, overtime pay for more local and state police presences, safety programs and publicity of the dangers of impaired driving have borne fruit, Brown said.

“There is no doubt that all of these have combined to save lives,” he said. “However, we still recommend that driving during this potentially hazardous time be avoided altogether if it all possible.”

 

Prattville woman killed in traffic crash Nov. 10 near Marbury

MARBURY, Alabama — A Prattville woman was killed in a single-vehicle crash Nov. 10 on Alabama 143, south of Marbury.

Morgan Autrey, 23, was killed when the vehicle she was a passenger in left Alabama 143, seven miles south of Marbury, at around 1:15 a.m. and overturned, Alabama State Troopers released.

Autrey and the vehicle’s driver, Klayton Murphree, 29, of Marbury, were not using seat belts and were ejected.

Murphree was transported to Baptist Medical Center South for treatment of his injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

Blountsville man, 24, dies of injuries from October crash

BLOUNT COUNTY, Alabama — A Blountsville man has died of injuries he sustained in an Oct. 30 vehicle crash, according to Alabama State Troopers.

Wesley Aaron Wilson, 24, was injured when his vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a utility pole along Alabama 160 about 4:10 a.m. Oct. 30, reports show.

The crash occurred less than a mile west of Cleveland. Wilson was taken to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. He died on Monday, according to troopers.

Troopers continue to investigate the crash.

Blountsville man dies after October crash – The Huntsville Times

BLOUNT COUNTY, Alabama – A Blountsville man injured in crash in late October has died, authorities said Thursday.

Wesley Aaron Wilson, 24, was injured Oct. 30 when the vehicle he was driving left the roadway and struck a utility pole. The accident happened about 4:10 a.m. on Alabama 160 at the 17 mile marker, a mile west of Cleveland.

Alabama State Troopers said Wilson died Monday, Nov 4., at UAB Hospital. The crash remains under investigation.

Deadly Montgomery crash was part of investigation involving counterfeiting

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Authorities say a deadly wreck in Montgomery happened as the suspects in an investigation of counterfeiting fled from law officers and crashed into a semitrailer.

WAKA-TV reports (http://bit.ly/18FIBNY) that the crash happened during Wednesday’s rush hour and shut down a major thoroughfare in the city.

Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy says officers had been working a counterfeiting investigation with Wetumpka police and the U.S Secret Service. He said they spotted the alleged suspects in a stolen car, officers pulled it over and then it fled and crashed into the semi.

The passenger in the car was killed and the driver was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

The crash happened around 5 p.m. near Old Selma Road and Western Boulevard. Few details on the counterfeiting investigation were released.


Information from: WAKA-TV, http://www.waka.com/