Four accidents close part of I-80

Slow down, be prepared, highway patrol warns
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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Law enforcement is warning motorists to take it slow on the roads this week. Wednesday afternoon the portion of Interstate 80 just east of Highway 174 was closed for at least an hour as emergency responders cleared four separate traffic accidents that involved three big rigs and several vehicles, according to Officer Todd Kettwig with the Gold Run California Highway Patrol office. The wave of crashes occurred at about 1:30 p.m. on eastbound Interstate 80 just east of Highway 174 and the three-mile grade. Kettwig said the causes of the collisions centered around unsafe speed for roadway conditions, which were slick due to a mix of rain and snow falling at the time. Only minor injuries were reported, Kettwig said. Further down the freeway, Auburn area Highway Patrol officers responded to a spinout on Highway 65 at Stanford Ranch Road. The driver walked away, according to Officer David Martinez with the Auburn area Highway Patrol office. Both Martinez and Kettwig cautioned drivers to take it slow and drive for the road conditions of the day. “Please, with inclement weather, slow down, expect slower traffic and please wear your seatbelt,” Kettwig said. Martinez added that those traveling up to the Lake Tahoe area should be prepared with chains, flares, blankets and flashlights. “Definitely leave early,” Martinez said. “Because of uncertain weather conditions, plan to bring some personal supplies just in case you end up being stuck on the freeway.” Reach Jenifer Gee at