Weatherford Democrat

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December 10, 2013

Winter weather update

Fatality reported; road conditions improving



In addition to wreaking havoc with any travel plans, the ice is believed to have contributed to one death in Parker County over the weekend. 

According to Parker County deputies’ preliminary reports, witness statements and evidence indicate an ATV accident Saturday in the 400 block of Cutters Trail south of Weatherford occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle on the icy roadway, Deputy Danie Huffman said. 

Sixty-three-year-old J. Horner, of Granbury, was pronounced deceased at the scene shortly before 3 p.m., according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. A ruling on the manner and cause of death was pending Monday morning.

Emergency responders found the vehicle on its passenger side, balanced on a rock, with the man trapped between the vehicle roll bar and the ground, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Icy sleet covering roadways that were passable Friday quickly deteriorated going into Saturday. In Parker County, TxDOT focused on the Interstate 20 corridor, impassable in many areas for an extended period of time leaving many motorists stranded on the highway. After several hours above freezing Sunday afternoon, Interstate 20 through Parker County was again moving Monday. 

“It’s day five of a 24/7 operation,” TxDOT spokesman Michael Peters said. 

TxDOT was working in teams of two to four motorgraders in tandem to clear the ice and slush from the roadways, he said.

“It’s been a constant effort over the last five days to keep the roads open and traffic moving,” Peters said, adding that crews were struggling with four inches of rock solid ice that adhered to bridges. 

TxDOT used as much material as they could on the ice but it would not penetrate, Peters said. 

“This was a major ice event not normally seen in North Texas,” Peters said. “Our crews have never stopped working. They are working around the clock until the icy conditions improve.”

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