By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor
Boone County —
Dozens of drivers were caught unprepared for the first significant snow storm of the 2012-13 season, with gale-force winds blowing snow — and in some cases salt from plow trucks — sideways Thursday night through Friday morning.
Winter arrived at 6:12 a.m. Friday, the earliest start of the season since 1896, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Lebanon received 2 inches of snow, according to the Indiana State Climate Office. Much of it was piled into drifts, with rural areas receiving the worst of the impact.
From 8 p.m. Thursday to 2 p.m. Friday, police agencies covered six crashes involving personal injury; 32 property damage accidents, and 126 slide-offs. Between 9 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, police agencies responded to 32 traffic accidents and 45 vehicles that slid off icy roads, Boone County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Chris Burcham said.
White-out conditions created by high wind and blowing snow contributed to many of the incidents, Burcham said.
“We had right around 10 reported to us,” Lebanon Police Lt. Brent Wheat said Friday afternoon. “It was about a typical first snowfall.” Other slide-offs likely went unreported because there was no damage and drivers were able to extricate themselves, Wheat said.
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