Accidents increasing as motorists drive on treacherous roadways - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Accidents increasing as motorists drive on treacherous roadways

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SCHP is blocking traffic at Hwy 17 and Hwy 544 due to a wreck. SCHP is blocking traffic at Hwy 17 and Hwy 544 due to a wreck.
A Stalled vehicle is causing delays on Highway 501 at Highway 544 A Stalled vehicle is causing delays on Highway 501 at Highway 544

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The icy roads left by the severe winter storm are contributing to slow traffic and accidents around the area. Officials are pleading that residents stay home as accidents are increasing.

All ramps at the Main Street connector and Highway 31 in North Myrtle Beach are closed at this time due to ice. Please use an alternate route.

Myrtle Beach Police have had to close a few ramps off Highway 17 Bypass and Grissom Parkway near Highway 31 due to treacherous conditions and cars going off roadways.

"With more people hitting the roads thinking everything is fine, they're finding out that it is not!" stated Myrtle Beach Police Captain David Knipes. "Don't drive, if at all possible, however if you must, drive much slower than normal, leave extra space between you and other cars and BE CAREFUL."

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is also urging motorists to stay off the roadways, if at all possible. In the last 12 hours, SCHP has responded to 1,475 weather-related calls for service, compared to 174 last year. There have been 817 collisions reported over the same period (compared to 89 last year), 77 abandoned vehicles (24 last year), and 339 motorists assisted, compared to 55 last year.

The roads are still icy and will be throughout the day and into tomorrow. 

As of 11:46 a.m. Wednesday, South Carolina Highway Patrol reported 15 collisions along Horry County roadways, including at least three with injuries.

At about 12:30 p.m., WMBF News Reporter Brennan Somers snapped a photo of an overturned car on Highway 501 near Willard Road, with fire crews responding to assist.

Candius Johnson was in the car with her 19 month old daughter.  Johnson said she hit a patch of ice before she lost all control of her car.

"I started sliding some more and pressed the brake even harder then I ended up in the middle of the both of the lanes and started sliding," added Johnson.  "It's unbelievable I had my daughter in the back seat and all I could think is what is about to happen."

Johnson said she has a warning for anyone thinking about driving.

"Stay at home, stay at home, stay at home," said Johnson.  "It's safer there and there aren't enough people out here driving as safe as they should be."

South Carolina Highway Patrol was blocking traffic on Highway 544 at Highway 17 at around 12 p.m. due to a wreck, says our reporter Will Whitson. 

Highway 501 was shut down Wednesday at around noon between Highway 544 and East Cox Ferry Road, Highway Patrol officials confirmed. A disabled vehicle was reported on the road at about 11:14 a.m. Wednesday. Drivers in the area have been saying that this has been a trouble spot for drivers.

SCDOT is keeping track of road conditions around the state - roads in Horry County are covered in snow and ice: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/24567442/winter-storm-begins-to-affect-roads-in-horry-co

To see a full list of road conditions, visit: http://206.74.144.9/RoadConditions/default.aspx 

Stay tuned to WMBF News and follow @WMBFTraffic on twitter for the latest traffic information.

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