Austin-Travis County EMS responds to multiple crashes due to icy roads

It's been a busy 24 hours for TxDOT crews and Austin-Travis County EMS.

"As we see ice forming on our bridges. That's to be expected, those elevated structures cool down a lot faster than the roads that are at ground level," said Diann Hodges, a TxDOT spokesperson. 

Early morning ice accumulation caused plenty of headaches for drivers.

"Even though it may not appear that there is ice on the road, you might hit a patch that you can't see, especially on elevated structures," said Hodges. 

Austin-Travis County EMS reported a significant amount of crashes just within a 12-hour period. In fact, the numbers were unusually high.

"Since midnight, our system has run 60 collisions. Of those 60 almost 20 were rollover collisions. That is a substantial amount of crashes. It is a lot. It's a higher number than we normally run. Even on a normal ice day. I think that may be partly due to the fact that a lot of people didn't realize how much stuff was going to freeze," said captain Christa Stedman, deputy public information officer. 

Crashes were reported all over town. FOX 7 captured video at I-35 and Grand Avenue, Parmer and Mopac, Duval and Mopac. Also, the toll 45 northbound ramp where a huge pileup occurred last winter. Another wreck Thursday was less than a mile from that site.

Stedman believes many drivers underestimated what was going to happen. The vast majority of these accidents are happening on overpasses and bridges.

"I think we've gotten a collision on every major roadway in Austin so far at this point and counting," said Stedman.

Temperatures will linger below freezing overnight and Stedman is hoping drivers choose to stay home, as the threat of some black ice remains.

"We hope for the best and prepare for the worst," she said.

"If they are still wet, they will refreeze, so we will keep an eye on this until roads are dry, and the icing has subsided," said Hodges.

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