Rapidly changing winter weather turned deadly Tuesday afternoon as snow flurries turned into freezing rain, coating roads throughout Boone County with an instant glaze of ice.

At that time, Lawrence and Catherine Honan of Indianapolis were on Indianapolis Road at County Road 600 East in Whitestown, apparently traveling to southern Boone County to visit family members.

Whitestown Police Chief Dennis Anderson reported that the couple’s car left the icy road on the east side and struck a line of trees there. Lawrence, 79, and his wife, Catherine, 77, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred at 12:54 p.m.

Whitestown Police and Boone County Sheriff’s Department investigated the crash and believe the changing weather conditions were a factor.

The wicked winter weather could hardly have come at a worse time, as people were beginning to wrap up work for the week or start traveling for the Christmas holiday. By 6 p.m. the temperatures climbed past the freezing mark and the ice began to melt but, by then, more than 100 cars, trucks and semis had been involved in seven dozen crashes and slide-offs in Boone County.

Boone County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Chris Burcham said that most of the accidents cause damage to vehicles and property, but that no other deaths and few other serious injuries resulted.

Problems on Boone County roads began just after 12:30 p.m. and included slide-offs, collisions and roll-overs.

The number of accidents at the same time strained police resources for several hours.

“I think we did OK,” Burcham said Tuesday evening. “We just took our time and dealt with each crash one at a time.”

At the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, off-duty and reserve officers came in to help, and administrative officers hit the road to lend a hand too. Day shift officers stayed on hours after their day was supposed to end, and an extra dispatcher allowed four people to take the calls that were coming in at about one a minute until after 3 p.m.

“I think we knew this was coming, but the traffic was just amazing,” Burcham said.

Reporter Sarah Lang contributed to this story.

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