First snow of season causes dozens of accidents

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A truck makes its way up North Fork Road in Columbia Falls into snow scenes mixed with fall color on Monday afternoon, October 10, in Columbia Falls. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

Brief, but strong snow squalls resulted in slick roads that caused dozens of traffic accidents and slide-offs during the Wednesday morning commute in the Flathead Valley.

According to Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. David Baggs, there were about 50 calls for service in the Kalispell district from about 6 to 11 a.m. as the first snowfall blanketed the valley with accumulations varying throughout the area.

“We were very fortunate that none of the accidents had serious injuries,” Baggs said. “There were several minor injuries, but we’re not sure if anyone was taken to the hospital.”

Incidents occurred on U.S. 93 and 2 as well as Montana 35, 83, 37, 209 and other secondary roads in Flathead and Lake counties.

“Our first responders did an excellent job at all the scenes,” Baggs said. “The fire companies, sheriff’s office, police departments and the wreckers did a great job getting to everything. It was really pretty hectic this morning.”

Motorists may get a break from winter weather until late Thursday and Friday when there is a chance of snow, rain and freezing fog in the Flathead, according to the National Weather Service.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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