Dozens crash on icy roads near Ellensburg

ELLENSBURG, Wash. --State Troopers in Kittitas are having a field day. They've been heading out crash scenes non-stop since early this morning. Action News learned that even with current road conditions, some of these accidents could have been prevented.

Cold weather conditions can lead to dangerous consequences on our roads.

"We came out of Vantage from WSU and it started snowing pretty heavily especially when you got up the Hill and coming down it got worse," said Madeline Nickel, who was driving along I-90.

There were a multitude of serious accidents in the Ellensburg area--- ranging from rollovers to a fatalilty crash. Not surprisingly, many of the accidents were concentrated on the hillier parts of I-82 and I-90.

Around noon, two accidents were reported near I-82 the viewpoint. And earlier this morning, ten crashes happened between mileposts 95 and 101 on I-90. Add two more collisions farther up the road at milepost 123, one of which was fatal.

"Our troopers were very busy this morning today and it was due to very icy conditions it had a rapid onset of ice so they got behind a little bit trying to catch up. So we had a lot of collisions some of them pretty serious," said Ellensburg WSP spokesperson Darren Wright.

So busy in fact, that I was unable to interview any state troopers at the crash scenes. The day was *so hectic that WSP even had to call in extra off duty troopers to help out.

"A couple times a year we have these situations when the road freezes up and people don't catch it on time and they're still going too fast and they end up crashing," said Trooper Wright.

But WSP says some of these accidents could have been prevented.

"The person that sees the crash tries to slow down and they slide out things like that. They hit their brakes when they see something and it's too late," said Trooper Wright.

Seeing a serious injury collision on the side of the highway is enough to make anyone cringe.

"The one accident we saw was pretty scary it looked like a fatality, but it was-it scares me a little bit," said Nickel.

And it why she says when she gets back on the road she'll be taking it slow.

We're told the victim of the fatal crash at milepost 123 was a WSU student. Troopers say he was thrown from the car because he was not wearing a seatbelt.