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Icy roads cause multiple accidents, injuries

Sleet is falling across Oklahoma. A mixture of precipitation is moving from southwest Oklahoma into central Oklahoma
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: November 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm •  Published: November 22, 2013

Wintry weather and icy roads contributed Friday to more than 50 accidents and multiple injuries on Oklahoma City roadways, and inclement conditions are expected to continue throughout the weekend.

A system of sleet and freezing rain moved through central Oklahoma on Friday afternoon and continued throughout the evening, leaving roadways slick and dangerous.

Trooper Betsy Randolph said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol responded to more than 50 collisions throughout the day, and she expected that number to increase throughout the night and morning.

Randolph said drivers seemed to be driving much faster than she would recommend considering the weather.

“We cautioned people to reduce their speeds, but they didn't really do that,” she said.

She urged drivers to reduce speeds and keep extra distance between cars if possible.

EMSA spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said EMSA crews responded to 66 crashes with injuries and 11 slip and falls.

The state Transportation Department put sand and salt on the roads to combat the ice throughout the day, but road conditions worsened as sleet continued to fall and temperatures dropped.

Spokesman Mills Gotcher said the department has 51 ice and sand trucks that will work in round-the-clock shifts as long as the winter weather continues.

Gotcher said people should stay off the roads if at all possible.

The sleet and rain is expected to clear out by Saturday morning, although cold temperatures will continue, the National Weather Service reported.

There's a chance of snow and sleet Sunday starting about midnight and increasing by 6 a.m.

Those chances will continue through Sunday night into Monday.