South Lane County residents speak up about slippery roads

Slippery roads are causing cars to lose control in South Lane County and residents believe deicer is to blame.

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 11:50 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2019 10:33 AM

DORENA, Ore. -- After a severe car crash involving a pick-up truck and a school bus east of Cottage Grove, residents in South Lane County are speaking up about deicer that they say is causing cars to lose control on their roads.

Monday’s accident happened on a corner of Row River Road where the Lane County Public Works Department placed deicer to keep the asphalt from freezing during the cold weather. However, Dorena resident Steve Vann said this time around, something was different and made his car slide.

“Hit one corner and the car started sliding sideways for no reason and I was only going about 45, 48 miles per hour,” Vann said.

Dorena resident Kelly Rhodes echoed a similar theme when her husband was returning home from work. 

“He came down Sears Road and he pulled on Row River Road from Sears, and he lost traction in the back end of his truck right there at that intersection and that never happens with his truck,” Rhodes said.

They said this has never been a problem as long as they have lived in South Lane County.

"There's never been an issue like this so that is our question, it's always been a good thing,” Rhodes said.

Monday’s crash sent Angelica Nielsen’s 16-year-old son to the hospital with a shattered knee cap, a broken nose, and major cuts and bruises.

"I had to hold his hand while they were getting him out, calm him down. The last thing he said before he passed out again was, 'Mom I'm so sorry. Don't be mad,'” Nielsen said.

Employees at Lane County Public Works said they cannot confirm if their deicer caused Monday’s crash. They said their solution is water based and can cause conditions similar to rainy weather when it is applied.

Nothing is official about what is causing the slippery roads until the Lane County Sheriff’s Office completes its investigation.

Rhodes said she is not upset, but she just wants answers. “We think this is some kind of fluke and we hope they can figure out what it is and address it, because it will make us feel better,” Rhodes said.

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