The snow is here! While many across southeast Idaho have been rejoicing the white stuff, others have been unfortunate victims to its slick and dangerous power. Here in Pocatello, we have exactly zero snowflakes on the ground, so everybody here is just sort of twiddling their thumbs in anticipation. In non-snow-related news, the November INL accident that exposed 16 workers to radiation was deemed preventable. So, you know, whoops.
- Yesterday’s snow has claimed one victim in southeast Idaho. Toni Martinez, 56, of Twin Falls, was driving east down Golf Course Road yesterday afternoon when she lost control of the vehicle. Martinez’s car skidded into opposing traffic where it hit a car driven by Donna Clovis, 73 of Hagerman. Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, while Clovis and her 78-year-old passenger were transported to St. Luke’s in Jerome with unknown injuries. Police said they are unsure whether or not the weather was a factor in the crash, despite the fact that the roads were covered in snow and slush at the time (I’m guessing it was). Clovis and her passenger were wearing seatbelts, but Martinez was not.
- At the same time as the crash on Golf Course Road, a four-car pileup left five injured on U.S. Highway 20 in Island Park. Paul Ivany, 55, of Australia, was driving west behind a snow plow while three other cars drove east on the road. After passing the plow, Ivany hit a car driven by Amy Broderick, 27, of Kanab, Utah, blocking both lanes. The third car, driven by Kristen Broderick, braked, but was struck from behind by a fourth car, which pushed it into Broderick’s car. Traffic was blocked for three hours because of the mess. Amy and Kristin Broderick, as well as three passengers from their vehicles, were transported to Madison Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
- Today, the snow continues to wreak havoc. Interstate 15 is closed between Idaho Falls and Roberts due to blowing dust (as per usual) and snow, as is Idaho Highway 32 between ID 33 and ID 47. The Teton Pass is also closed for avalanche control maneuvers. ID 21 is also closed between Grandjean Road and the Custer-Boise County Line due to avalanche danger. School District 401 in Teton, Idaho is closed today due to the snow, as well as The Learning Academy in Driggs. [LN8]
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety and Security said the November INL accident that exposed 16 employees to radiation was preventable in a report released yesterday. After a two-month investigation, the organization concluded that the accident was the fault of an inaccurate analysis of the dangers of plutonium plates. Those plates had been in storage for over 30 years and lab workers, ignoring 2010 recommendations for safer handling, removed them, exposing the employees. Of those exposed, 14 have returned back to work. [LN8]