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First snow in local mountains brings hazardous roads

November 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some folks are happy to see the first real snow of the season. But as anyone who likes to head up to the mountains knows, falling snow makes for some dangerous driving conditions.

Chains are required on all three highways in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Friday was a good example how driving conditions on mountain roads can snowball out of control. A car flipped over just outside Angelus Oaks. Firefighters lit flares to warn drivers, and other drivers even helped direct traffic themselves.

"We came up on it after she flipped over," said Norco resident Mike Mandahl. "She was trying, actually she was getting out on her own. We got her the rest of the way out."

Even emergency crews had a heck of a time getting through.

"Our way out here was impeded by multiple vehicles that had blocked the road," said Randall Ridges from San Bernardino County Fire Department. "And had this been an injury accident we would have been delayed in rendering medical aid to any victims."

The driver was OK. But just to get around the mess, other drivers started getting stuck. Some were going too fast, and others perhaps too slow.

"A lot of people don't use their common sense," said Jim Massey. "Yeah, there's going to be a lot of wipeouts today."

Local ski resorts reported several inches of snow, including Wrightwood and Big Bear. They are hoping to open up the resorts this weekend, even if only for a couple days.

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