Snow turns roads deadly in KC region, with 86 crashes, 10 injuries, 2 deaths: patrol

Update: The Missouri Highway Patrol on Tuesday identified the people who died in the crashes as James A. Copeland, 77, of Archie, Mo., and Kathleen J. Miller, 62, of Windsor, Mo.

Roads in the Kansas City area turned deadly Monday as a light snow fell for much of the day, making for slick conditions.

Snowfall totals in the Kansas City area varied depending on location. Areas north of downtown Kansas City have seen 1 to 2 inches of snow. Areas to the south have seen 3 inches or more.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reported at noon that troopers in the Kansas City area and surrounding counties had responded to 175 weather-related incidents, including 86 crashes. Those crashes included 10 injuries and 2 deaths.

One of the deaths was reported in a crash on Interstate 49 at Missouri 291 in Harrisonville. The other was in a head-on crash along Missouri 52 in Henry County. Details of the crashes were not immediately available.

The highway patrol said all roads in the Kansas City area were at least partially covered with snow or ice. The roads were expected to remain hazardous through Monday evening and into Tuesday morning.

“Any time we have our first major weather event of the year, you see numerous crashes,” said Sgt. Collin Stosberg, a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol. Drivers were urged not to go out unless it was necessary.

“If you do venture out, make sure you drive slow and pay attention,” Stosberg said. “You should also wear your seat belt. I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing your seat belt.”

Drivers should follow other vehicles at a safe distance, turn on their headlights and be patient so that everyone can arrive at their destination safely, the patrol said. Those who experience a roadside emergency or see a crash should call *55.

Because of the number of crashes, some police departments, including those in Overland Park and Prairie Village, asked drivers in non-injury accidents to walk in their reports later.

The snowfall should come to an end Monday afternoon, said Spencer Mell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

But even after the snow stops falling, drivers should expect secondary and untreated roads to be slick.

“Everything that is out on the roads will continue to stay there,” Mell said. “Drivers should expect slick conditions through the evening rush.”

Tuesday morning will get off to a bitterly cold start, with lows in the mid-teens. Slick conditions will remain a hazard through the morning commute.

“If you go out, take it slow,” Mell said. “If you see shiny surfaces, it’s probably ice there. Take it easy and allow extra time.”

The Kansas Department of Transportation said on Twitter that its crews started treating bridges and overpasses in the Kansas City area before sunrise Monday.

The plan for Monday afternoon was to treat for ice, paying extra attention to bridges and overpasses. They expected to finish treating the roads by the evening rush hour and monitor road conditions overnight.

For Tuesday morning’s commute, drivers should expect ice in spots.

Grandview said its crews started salting snow routes about 9 a.m. Monday. Crews were going over the snow routes with de-icing materials to reinforce the salt.

In Kansas City, crews treated and plowed main roads Monday morning. They were out before the rush hour to treat bridges.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb