WAYNESBORO -- School administrators canceled classes Friday morning after several car crashes, which were caused by icy roads. Some police officers said it was the worst morning they've ever seen.
There were 16 crashes in four hours and many of those were on major roads like South Delphine, Hopeman Parkway and Rosser Avenue. Those are areas many would expect to be cleared first. They are all entrances from Augusta County, where the Virginia Department of Transportation, VDOT, handles the roads.
“We had folks unaware that the roads were that drastically different, and just collisions galore,” said Sgt. Brian Edwards with the Waynesboro Police Department.
Gary Crytzer, an emergency services director, said none of the crashes were serious, but it wasn't worth it to take a risk keeping school open.
“Most of them were minor injury type accidents or no injuries at all. We didn't have any severe injuries as a result. But, when you get a bus that's sliding sideways loaded full of children, you just can't take that risk,” said Crytzer.
A call was made to Superintendent Robin Crowder and he canceled school using the city's second snow day.
Dave Key with Waynesboro's Public Works said he didn't expect the ice to be so hard to manage.
“We have some residual heat that we typically hold in the roads in the city. Unfortunately, this time that worked against us against us a little bit because that residual heat was enough to melt that initial snow,” said Key.
That melted snow left water on the roads and the low temperatures caused widespread areas of ice. Crews said next time a weather event comes through, they're going to leave more trucks available, so this doesn't happen again.
“We have established an on call policy this year. Before it was more reactive to call someone in, now it's more proactive.”
The schools used the last snow day on Friday. That means any future cancellations will either extend the school year or shorten spring break.
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