Road conditions blamed for multiple wrecks on Saturday

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Laurie Sisk/Tribune photo Emergency officials work the scene of a jack-knifed truck near Tird Street and U.S> Hwy 69 on Saturday.

Fort Scott Police said wet roads contributed to a series of local accidents that took place throughout the day Saturday in various parts of town.

Police and other emergency personnel worked a variety of accidents that included a semi-trailer that jackknifed on the highway, a driver fleeing the scene after his vehicle struck a utility pole, and a vehicle that crashed into a local residence.

"It was a busy weekend," FSPD Interim Chief Travis Shelton said. "They were pretty much all related to the weather."

Just before 10 a.m., a 2000 Volvo tractor-trailer driven by Jack Gossage, 55, of Vermont, Ill., slid on the road and jackknifed near the corner of Third Street and U.S. Highway 69.

Shelton said the semi was heading south on U.S. 69 approaching the stop light and "with the wet roads at the time, slid causing it to jackknife and strike the guardrail."

Shelton said Gossage was not hurt in the accident. The incident did cause some traffic issues until the semi could be removed.

Shortly after 10 p.m., a 2005 Dodge R-15 pickup struck a utility pole near the corner of Washington and Wall streets, blocking the road for a time. The driver left the scene on foot after striking the pole, Shelton said.

Shelton said the driver's identity is not currently known. The truck is registered to Billy Minor, of Fort Scott. Shelton said it is unknown if the driver was hurt in the collision.

"The investigation shows the vehicle was going east on Wall, spun and hit the utility pole," Shelton said.

Shelton added the incident is under investigation and police welcome any tips or information from the public related to the case.

A third incident involved a 2005 Chrysler 300 crashing into a local residence about 11:30 a.m. Saturday near Franklin and Wall streets.

Sheton said the vehicle, driven by 79-year-old Rosalee Rager, of Fort Scott, was parked facing north in front of a local restaurant, then backed out and "straight across the road," striking a house at 1602 E. Wall St. The car went completely into the house, he said.

Shelton said the owner of the property is listed in the police report as Audrey Cole. No injuries were reported in the accident. He said police aren't sure how the accident occurred.

"We're not sure how it happened," he said.

Shelton reminded motorists to use extra caution when driving on slick roads caused by rain, snow or ice. He said he saw several similar accidents during his travels throughout the area this past weekend.