Storm halts traffic |

Storm halts traffic

As people struggled to shovel snow off of sidewalks and out of driveways at the beginning of the week, traffic slowed to a slow crawl in many areas.

Traffic was slow and there were some back-ups, but there was no serious accidents, said Wes Maehler, a California Highway Patrol officer.

However, three patrol cars were hit over the weekend

“People lost control and hit our patrol cars,” Maehler said.

One patrol car got hit by a drunk driver Sunday on Interstate 80 near Soda Springs after he had stopped to help a motorist.

The man that hit the patrol car and only caused minor damage was arrested and booked on drunk driving charges.

Another patrol car was hit on Sunday east of Donner Summit. The officer was not in the vehicle at the time and the damage was minor, said Maehler.

The third patrol car was hit Wednesday morning on Squaw Valley Road. There was moderate damage to the rear of the patrol car and the officer was not injured, said Maehler.

All of the accidents occurred when the patrol cars were stopped on the side of the road, but Maehler doesn’t think the patrol cars were hit because people didn’t see them.

“They see us and slam on their breaks,” Maehler said. “They then loose control and slide into the parked cars.”

But the roads should remain clear into and throughout the weekend, according to Mike Pechner of Goldenwest Meteorology.

The storm that left almost 7 feet of snow in some areas not only left many Lake Tahoe resident’s with sore backs, but it also scared a few residents with some avalanches.

A wall of snow 50-yards wide fell across both lanes of Mount Rose Highway Monday and one woman was unable to stop in time and hit the 12-foot pile of snow.

Initial reports that the motorist was trapped in the avalanche was reported to be untrue, the motorist was uninjured.

Another avalanche trapped a Woodfords, Calif., man for 45 minutes on Carson Pass Monday afternoon.

But roads for this weekend should be clear for skiers and boarders looking to enjoy some fresh powder because the forecast calls for a clear weekend.

Snow and rain should return on Monday, said Pechner.

– Keith Sheffield contributed to this report.

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