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Crash! 19 accidents in a few hours

Our area was hit hard Monday with its first real winter storm and accidents were seemingly around every corner. 

Kelowna RCMP tell Castanet they dealt with 19 crashes yesterday afternoon, all within a few hours. 

"It was a very difficult day for all emergency crews. We had quite a few accidents and probably quite a few more that weren't even necessarily reported to us," says RCMP Cst. Kris Clark. 

When the snow started falling just north of Kelowna the highway near Crystal Waters Road was struck with three big accidents in less than 15 minutes slowing the highway to a crawl.

Clark says there was a  pickup truck versus a semi, a car versus a telephone pole, and a rollover in a ditch; "Obviously that was a bad area." 

The storm quickly headed south to Kelowna and West Kelowna, accidents and closed roads added up quickly. 

"Lots of people were not necessarily prepared, people were not driving for the conditions, and people were not necessarily paying as much as attention as they should, we witnessed a number of different problem behaviours," explained Clark. 

"Anywhere where there was a bit of ice we saw accidents," says Clark. 

"Stop signs are always a bad one, you come up to a stop sign and you slam on your breaks and go right through the sign," says Clark.

Clark says there were some unavoidable accidents, but many preventable ones as well. 

He says the RCMP always recommend that you have winter tires with good tread depth anytime after Oct 1, but regardless if you are speeding relative to the conditions you are putting yourself at risk. 

Fortunately there were no serious injuries reported. 

"Anytime the conditions change, the road conditions change, and you should change your driving conditions appropriately," adds Clark. "As you know in the Okanagan those conditions can change from street to street so you really do have to adjust on a ongoing basis."

Accidents in Kelowna included:

Guisachan at Wilkinson 
Benvoulin at KLO
KLO Road hill near the golf club 
Swamp Road at Dehart 
Fitzpatrick Road between Rutland Road and Findlay Road 
Rutland Road at Old Vernon Road 
Mills Road at Hwy. 33
Bedford Road Hill between and Saucier 
Spiers Road Hill at Todd Road approximately 
Gordon Drive and Steele Road

West Kelowna was also hit hard:

Hudson Hill between Hwy. 97 and Boucherie Road in West Kelowna
Keefe Road at Hayman Road 
Boucherie Road Hill between Hwy. 97 and Stuart Road in West Kelowna 
Anders Road Between Boucherie and Thacker Drived

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