DPS: Winter storm leads to uptick in emergency calls over Christmas weekend

Posted at 2:42 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-26 17:06:47-05

Heavy snowfall in northern Arizona over the weekend made for dangerous driving conditions and a massive uptick in the number of calls their offices received, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

Officials responded to 362 calls between Saturday, Dec. 24 and Sunday, Dec. 25.

There were 161 calls about injury and non-injury accidents, 201 calls regarding cars sliding off the roads and 134 drivers needed tow trucks, DPS said.

Over the weekend, the Flagstaff Operations Communication Center received more than 2,700 calls, which is significantly more compared to the 1,000 received the weekend prior.

There were five car crashes near milepost 161 along Interstate 40, dozens of cars were involved in those accidents. Troopers attributed the collisions to slippery road conditions due to the treacherous winter storm.

Nine of the cars involved were commercial trucks that required a tow truck to move them.

DPS said other car crashes during the two-day period included:

  • SR 87 NB at MP 283 3-vehicle crash closed NB traffic from 2:20 p.m.  Saturday to 3:33 p.m.

  • SR 89A NB/SB over Mingus closed for crashes and heavy snow from MP 331-343 from 2:48 p.m. Saturday to 9:11 a.m. Sunday. Closure was extended to 345.

  • I-17 NB at MP 313 closed for a crash from 3:18 p.m. to 4:31 p.m Saturday.

  • SR 87 NB/SB at MP 275 multi-vehicle crash closed road from 3:20 p.m. to 4:03 p.m. Saturday.

  • I-40 EB/WB MP 146-195 closed for multiple slide-offs at 3:39 p.m. Saturday. Closed at US 93 (MP 72) at 2:34 a.m. All lanes reopened at 4:26 a.m. Sunday.

  • I-17 SB at MP 322 (Munds Park) closed for crash from 5:13 p.m. Saturday to 1:11 a.m. Sunday. Closure extended from MP 299-340.

  • I-40 WB at MP 144 closed for a crash from 7:21 a.m. to 8:22 a.m. Sunday.

  • SR 238 west of Maricopa closed for flooding at 2:53 p.m. Saturday. SR 238 reopened at 12:10 p.m. Dec. 26.