Heavy wet snow made for extremely slushy conditions on roadways Tuesday evening as an arctic blast made its way across the state.
Beginning at about 5 p.m., the leading edge of the front dropped fat, wet flakes of snow causing cautious driving conditions. Deep slush about three hours later caused very slick streets for drivers and incoming wind combined with falling snow snow made visibility almost impossible.
At about 8:30 p.m., the Nebraska State Patrol reported a jack-knifed semi-truck blocking the northbound lanes of U.S. 81 about five miles south of Hebron.
A second semi-truck was reported to the local law enforcement center in the median on U.S. 81 near mile marker 21 early Tuesday morning.
Also two vehicles were in a minor accident on 1st and Union in Hebron at about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.
And finally, a vehicle was reported as being off the road at U.S. 81 and Dove road sometime Tuesday morning.
Overnight, temperatures fell from near 40 degrees when the snow began to 15 degrees by sunrise Tuesday morning. The dropping temperature froze slush on the roads causing extremely slippery driving conditions.
Other vehicles were reported to be off the road and in ditches. All the accidents were due to slick roadways. None resulted in injuries to individuals.
Earlier in the week, dense fog and freezing drizzle were the cause of a rollover accident Monday morning on Highway 5 near Carleton.
James D. Heskett, 45, of Deshler, escaped serious injury after narrowly missing a Union Pacific train by steering his skidding vehicle into a ditch instead of onto the U.P. tracks.
According to an accident report on file at the local law enforcement center, Heskett said he was headed north on Highway 5 in thick fog and freezing drizzle at 6:40 a.m., when he came upon the flashing crossarms at the railroad crossing near Carleton. He said the lights were not visible due to the fog. He quickly applied the breaks and went into a skid due to the icy conditions on the blacktop.
Heskett then steered his skidding vehicle into the west ditch to avoid hitting the passing train. Upon entering the ditch, his 2002 Oldsmobile four-door sedan flipped onto its top where it came to rest at the bottom of the ditch. Heskett was not trapped in the totaled vehicle, but was taken to Thayer County Health Services by Carleton Rescue for visible, but non-disabling head injuries.
Foggy conditions and drizzle remained in the area for most of the day on Monday.