TEMPLE (February 7, 2014) Weather conditions in Central Texas were deteriorating and roadways were treacherous, especially in parts of Bell County as temperatures dropped and drizzle was falling.
A statement issued just before 11 a.m. by the Bell County Sheriff’s Office advised motorists to stay off the roads until conditions improve.
More than two-dozen accidents, at least one of the involving a fatality, have been reported in Bell County since about 9:30 a.m.
An accident on Interstate 35 in the northbound lanes at mile marker 278 has claimed at least one life, a Department of Public Safety communications officer said.
Trooper Harpin Meyers said a northbound Chevrolet Suburban, driven by Virginia Lopez Sanchez, struck a patch of ice on the highway and the driver lost control.
The suburban, with nine people aboard, rolled over several times and a 16-year-old girl was thrown from the SUV, which then rolled over her and crushed her.
Other inside the Suburban were taken by ambulance to a local hospital but their conditions were not known.
Traffic in that area was moving extremely slowly due both to the conditions of the roadway and debris left by the crash.
Sanding crews were working throughout Bell County, especially along Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 190.
Bell County offices and City of Temple offices all closed at noon Friday.
Schools in Temple, Bartlett, Jarrell and Florence, along with Central Texas College and University of Mary Hardin Baylor reported they were closed for the day Friday but Waco, Killeen and Belton schools remained on a regular schedule.