Montana Highway Patrol responds to several car crashes due to we - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Montana Highway Patrol responds to several car crashes due to weather conditions

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As the snow moved in Wednesday it was chaos on the roads.

Over the course of the day and night, Billings police officers responded to thirty crashes.

Thankfully none of those involved fatalities.

KULR-8's Mary Jane Belleza went to the Billings police department where she spoke with officers about how they stay safe when so many crashes are happening around them.

It's the sheer number of calls that force the city to implement slick street policy. Part of the reason that policy is put into place is to give officers more time to get to where they need to go safely.

Billings police Lieutenant Neil Lawrence says it all adds up to a busy day for dispatchers. 

"So if dispatch gets a call that if there's a crash or if someone's off the roadway, a lot of times they will notify dispatch and send officers out to investigate to determine if someone is hurt or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs," said Lawrence.

On Wednesday, Montana Highway Patrol responded to 425 driving incidents statewide. Eighty one of those calls were handled by the Billings division with 47 of those calls located within Yellowstone county. That also doesn't include the 30 crashes reported within Billings city limits.

"Slick streets are obviously a big factor to the accidents, especially this time of year. A lot of it is inattentive driving, drivers not paying attention, driving too fast for these road conditions is a big issue too so it's a number of factors," adds Lawrence.

While the majority of these incidents were non injury, motorists are urged to drive with caution. Once officers are dispatched to a scene, they follow strict procedures designed to keep everyone including themselves safe.  

"We'll use our patrol cars to block the roadway so if the vehicles are still in the lane of traffic nobody runs into them," said Lawrence. "We'll have our overhead lights on. We'll also utilize the fire trucks which is a huge help and our department is great on crash scenes. When they come out they'll block the roadways to divert traffic around."

As you can imagine there wasn't a lot of down time over the last few days for officers... deputies... and dispatchers.

On Facebook... the Yellowstone County sheriff's office shared a picture offering thanks to Hog Wild Cafe and Party Pig catering for supplying meals when it was impossible for anyone to get away for a bite to eat.
  

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