Tornado Watch for several Indiana counties until 2 a.m.

Warmer weather bringing false confidence for drivers, more crashes to Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The winter blast is over, but Indiana State Police continued to stay busy with an overwhelming number of crashes to start the weekend.  ISP is calling Saturday's crash totals uncharacteristic and perhaps the result of false confidence from the warmer weather.

State police responded to 35 crashes between midnight and mid-afternoon on Saturday.  Those crashes resulted in 12 people being injured. The high accident numbers come after a snow storm that saw 119 crashes, including one that turned deadly.

"We don't get out and say, 'Slow down,' because we like to hear ourselves talk," ISP Sgt. John Perrine said. "We are tired of responding to these crashes where people are hurt, people are killed.”

Police said speed is often the factor in these winter crashes, and they want to remind people that drivers can be ticketed at their discretion, even if they’re under the speed limit.

“If we feel like somebody is driving too fast, or too reckless, for those conditions, we will pull them over," Sgt. Perrine said.

As another reminder, be aware of your surroundings. Brian Wagaman is a tow truck driver in Martinsville. He was assisting officers with a vehicle on the side of the road shortly after the storm.  The car had slammed into a guard rail and was totaled. He had his flashing lights on, as did his boss in another truck and the officer on duty, but that didn't stop one reckless driver.

"That time a car had come flying over the hill doing about 70 [miles per hour]. Wasn’t paying attention, and had spun out in front of us, just happened to have my dash cam on and caught it," Wagaman said. "If she would have done that just a couple seconds early, she would have went into my truck and probably killed me. I was in the process of getting behind the truck and loading another car on."

State police encourage drivers to slow down whenever the temperature is below 32 degrees, even if that may feel like Spring compared to sub-zero temperatures from this past week. It’s still an ice hazard.

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