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Winter weather surprises North Texans: Slick roads cause driver to land in pond
A vehicle traveling on the southbound U.S. 75 service road skidded off the road shortly after midnight Wednesday, landing headfirst into the pond at The Courses at Watters Creek, the golf course formerly known as Chase Oaks. No injuries were reported at the scene. Crews were still working to remove the vehicle into the afternoon. - Zach Markovic / Staff photo
It was a White Christmas for Allen and North Texas as a surprise snowstorm dumped up to 5 inches of snow on the Dallas-Fort Worth area Tuesday.
According to the National Weather Service, early morning thunderstorms had by 2 p.m. turned into snow, with temperatures dropping below freezing around 2:45 p.m. at DFW Airport.
The storm, the first of its kind this season, caused minor accidents and delays on roadways throughout the region through Wednesday morning, with some highway closures in Dallas.
In Plano, roadway conditions were slightly more hazardous than those in Dallas and Richardson. However, the number and severity of accidents were not as bad as police had anticipated, said Plano Police Officer David Tilley.
"Most people seem to be driving very cautiously with the weather, which is good," he said. "Most people have common sense to drive accordingly to the road conditions. That's what you want, and it seems to me people are doing it very well."
The department reported 33 motorist assists between 3:30 p.m. Christmas Day and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Of the 51 vehicle crashes reported from 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, 13 were reported as possible injury crashes.
The only accident in which a person was transported to the hospital occurred a little after 4 p.m. Tuesday, when a car hit a signal light at Park Boulevard and Midway Road. The injuries were reported as minor.
Trooper Lonnie Haschel, Texas DPS spokesman, said approximately 20 crashes occurred on the tollway systems between the beginning of the snowstorm and Wednesday morning. North Texas Tollway Authority crews began sanding the roads yesterday afternoon and evening, he said.
"It could have been a lot worse. We still had folks that were driving too fast on the wet roadways, but it didn't cause crashes where we had the damage reports. They were just sliding off the road."
Motorists commuting from the north on U.S. 75 Wednesday morning may have seen the back half of a red Dodge Neon sticking out from a pond at The Courses at Watters Creek, the golf course formerly known as Chase Oaks. The driver of the vehicle was traveling on the southbound service road shortly after midnight when the vehicle skidded out due to ice and landed headfirst into the pond, Tilley said. No injuries were reported at the scene.