Weather Leads To Several Wrecks, Snarls Traffic

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Rain, hail and snow caused at least 12 accidents and traffic jams Friday on Highways 87 and 260.

In spite of the bad weather, motorists avoided fatalities and life-threatening injuries said Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Whetten.

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Weather played a major role in a number of accidents around Rim country Friday, including this roll-over north of Strawberry.

"We had snow up high and hail in a lot of locations," Whetten said. "It started in the morning and went all day and then there was a sudden hail storm around 4 p.m."

At higher elevations above Strawberry and Kohl's Ranch, snow-covered roads caused cars to slide and tractor-trailers to jackknife.

"The snow on the Rim up (Highway) 260 caused a lot of wrecks and traffic tie-ups to the point where ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) asked us to close the road," Whetten said. "They had about 300 cars stacked up at a logjam. We didn't have enough people to work the wrecks and close the road so people who were caught in the jam had to wait until ADOT could get a plow through and clear off the road."

A downpour of hail in the afternoon caused two accidents just south of Pine on Buckhead Mesa, Whetten said.

"The hail only lasted about five minutes, but dumped enough to create havoc on Buckhead Mesa south of Pine," Whetten said. "We were fortunate not to have any serious injuries or fatalities."

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