Posted: Oct 3, 2013 4:35 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
Montana's second winter storm of the season created havoc on mountain passes early Thursday morning.
Chains were required on most passes, as slick road conditions challenged traction.
As temperatures dropped below freezing overnight, rain quickly turned into slush and then into snow and ice across many of Montana's highways. By 6 a.m., road signs were posted on MacDonald Pass calling for the use of chains.
Chuck Miller, a truck driver said, "By 5:30 this morning she was pretty nasty, visibility 65 feet, real wet snow, the state was out plowing. They were doing a real good job."
But for many truckers who didn't get the word in time, there was nothing to keep them from sliding.
Another trucker Russ Worl said, "Five trucks were spun out, one was crossways in the road. I tried to get over in the scenic turnout and get out of the way of everything and I just got stuck on the side there, it wasn't too bad but, you just don't have no traction."
Trucks were pulling over along side Highway 12 to do the ominous duty of chaining up.
A third truck driver from Reno, Nevada, Keith Flury said, "I did not wake up this morning expecting to put chains on this truck. Let's put it that way."
Many had to wait for chains to arrive. This trucker was headed to Portland, Oregon, with a truck load of live bees.
The Montana Highway Patrol was out in full force trying to enforce the law during treacherous driving conditions. Those who didn't chain up were being issued citations.
"Yes citations have been issued. I believe it's $85 dollars, I would have to look again but I believe that's what it was. The traffic overall, except for the ones not chaining up were good. You know, people for the most part were slowing down which they have to do." MHP Trooper Thomas Gill said.
Trooper Gill says most people obeyed the driving restrictions, but he cautioned the use of seat belts and traveling at a lower rate of speed as we head into the winter months ahead.