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MHP urges drivers to use caution after multiple slide offs last week

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POLSON – Winter-like weather arrived in Lake County two days before the actual season began on Dec. 21, and with it came some typical incidents. 

Snow, freezing rain and icy road conditions resulted in multiple vehicle slide-offs on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 19 and 20, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wayne Bieber said. 

The most serious incident from those two days resulted in minor injuries as a result of a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 93 near the intersection with Minesinger Road. 

According to Bieber, both vehicles were headed southbound with one in a turn lane. That vehicle, a utility van, was rear-ended by a Pontiac Grand Am whose driver lost control and slid, Bieber said. 

The driver of the Pontiac was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center and treated for minor injuries, Bieber said. The driver of the van also suffered minor injuries, but he drove himself to the hospital.

The driver of the Pontiac will be cited for a moving violation, MHP Sgt. Chan Barry said. 

Driving tips 

With winter having officially arrived, Barry reminds drivers to keep in mind the following driving tips:

• Make sure vehicles have good snow tires

• Slow down. Slower is always better because of the possible existence of black ice. It’s hard to determine the condition of the road surface by looking at it, he said. 

• Leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle you’re following.

• Look farther ahead than just the car in front of you to see possible situations you might encounter. 

• When traveling long distances, keep hats, gloves, blankets, snow boots, non-perishable food and water in the vehicle in case one gets stranded.

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