Grapevine Closed Because of Weather, Accidents
The portion of Interstate 5 known as The Grapevine was shut down due to snow, ice, and multiple accidents on Sunday, February 17. It remained closed through the night, and reopened on Monday.
The closing is just the latest in southern California’s bout of unusual weather making roads treacherous for motorists. Traffic on The Grapevine might have been especially heavy because people were taking brief vacations and heading to the mountains for the President’s Day holiday.
The immediately precipitating incidents were vehicle accidents, which caused the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to close the area “due to multiple collisions.” But snow and ice had slowed traffic before that. Many motorists were running out of gas due to the slowness of their progress; some were stuck not moving at all once the area closed.
The CHP reports that several commercial trucks were stuck in the snow and ice. Vehicles stalled. In one case, a snow plow and several vehicles were involved in an accident in Kern county.
On Sunday night, as the closure stretched on for hours, reports of stalled vehicles, spin-outs, and accidents clogged the CHP’s incident log. Big rigs on I-5 were reported stuck in ice and snow. Motorists said they were running out of gas as hundreds remained trapped in the closed section, CHP logs showed. Snow and ice brought dicey conditions to other mountain roads at high elevations. One collision west of Frazier Park, for example, apparently involved a Kern County snow plow as vehicles slid into each other.
Other roads were closed due to snow and ice as well, Portions of Highway 33 near Ojai in Ventura County were closed.
This is not the only closing The Grapevine has undergone this winter, but it was the most extensive.
Stay Safe in Inclement Weather
Southern California has been battered by inclement weather. The most recent was snow and ice in the upper elevations, but rain and winds have also caused traffic delays and multiple accidents – and mudslides that imperil motorists.
Motorists need to take into account potential unusual weather conditions before they start to drive. If snow, ice, heavy rains, or gusty winds are forecast, it is often the most prudent course to stay home. Los Angeles residents are used to driving in conditions where weather is generally good. That attitude may need some adjustment. Bad weather can cause vehicle accidents that injure or kill.
If you must drive in inclement weather, drive slowly and safely. Make sure safety equipment, such as headlights, brakes, and windshield wipers, are always in good working order.
If You Want to Talk to a Southern California Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was involved in any car accident, or accident from another vehicle, such as trucks and vans, during a recent bout of inclement weather, it may be a good idea to talk to an experienced southern California car accident lawyer.
The cause of car accidents can be complicated. The Ellis Law Firm has been investigating and litigating car accidents in the Los Angeles area for two decades.
Call the car accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law today. All initial consultations are free.
- Bravo, Kristina, Megan Telles, and Kareen Wynter. Grapevine Closed, Motorists Urged to Avoid Mountains as Cold Weather System Hits in L.A., Ventura Counties. KTLA5. February 17, 2019. https://ktla.com/2019/02/17/cold-weather-system-expected-in-l-a-ventura-counties-motorists-urged-to-avoid-mountains/.
- Wenner, Gretchen. Grapevine reopens after snow, accidents snarl traffic on Interstate 5. VC Star. February 18, 2019. https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/communities/ventura/2019/02/17/grapevine-closed-sunday-evening-as-snow-accidents-snarl-traffic-on-interstate-5-ate-5/2902170002/