By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Tow companies were busy Friday as snow fell across the High Desert, which created difficult conditions on the roads at times.
Three lanes of Highway 97 closed between Redmond and Bend at 2:30 p.m. due to a crossover crash.
Redmond Fire & Rescue said two people were removed from the cars and taken to St. Charles in Bend.
One patient sustained life-threatening injuries.
There were also long backups on Highway 97 after a crash two miles north of Terrebonne.
Highway 20 was closed in both directions around 10:20 a.m. after a multi-vehicle crash.
“The snow is causing some problem for folks out there,” said Peter Murphy, public information officer with the Oregon Department of Transportation. “We recognize it and we have as many crews out as we can.”
ODOT crews were working to clear the roads with plows since 4 a.m. Friday morning.
“This is probably the most snow we’ve had in the winter season at any point in time,” Murphy said.
Consolidated Towing in Bend has worked to tow cars that had slid off the road since early Friday morning.
Lori Anton, Consolidated Towing’s general manager, was so busy, she could only speak with us briefly on the phone.
“Seriously, we have so many customers that are sliding off the road, sliding into other cars, semi-trucks and trailers that are stuck.”
When asked if she sees any patterns in who or what kind of car is sliding off, she said, “We see a lot of people who think they’re invincible because they have an all-wheel-drive vehicle, and they’re just not. Days where it’s icy under a layer of snow, everyone is at risk.”
Murphy recommends checking Trip Check before you head out on the roads.
He also recommends leaving ample space between your car and the car in front of you.