KINGSPORT, Tenn. - A thick coat of ice was on the windshield and windshield wipers for many drivers in our region. The roads were slick causing a lot of wipeouts, News 5 spent the day driving through Kingsport to check on conditions.
It's an accident on the Interstate that makes you just cringe, a suburban hit a patch of ice near Exit 66 on I-81, hit the median cables, and bounced over to the right shoulder. But this unfortunate accident was just one of many in Kingsport.
Patrol Officer Dale Farmer with Kingsport Police said accidents were reported on I-81, I-26, and John B. Dennis Highway. Police warned us cars were driving way too fast and following others too closely.
Even though crews had been salting the roads there were still slick spots and patches of ice. "Once they hit a bridge or overpass, or if the car drops off the shoulder and they hit ice, at that point the driver loses control and our collisions occur," added Officer Farmer.
Speaking of collisions, police say a car on Fort Henry Drive hit a patch of ice, lost control, and hit a utility pole with crews close behind to make repairs.
There were warning signs on I-26 and our crew ran into a poor driver heading westbound that wound up facing the wrong direction in the median.
Meantime back in the City of Kingsport Glenna Russell and her husband said they had to do a bit of scraping before they could even pump gas. "We had to pour hot water on the windshield in order to break through to scrape the rest of it off," she said.
And like Mother Nature, the traffic was unpredictable. "It's pretty empty. I've seen a lot of ambulances, not a lot of cars," added Russell.
A big word of warning from police: If you do see any kind of flashing emergency lights out on the interstate, move over and slow down. That law is designed to keep everyone safe while helping drivers.