published Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Icy road likely cause of 7-vehicle accident in Chattanooga's Wilcox Tunnel

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Falling temperatures may have contributed to a seven-car fender bender that resulted in the closure of Wilcox Tunnel on Monday night.

Ice on the road inside the tunnel is believed to have led to the accident, according to police dispatcher Dee Brown.

Brown said the first call of an accident came about 8 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Both directions of the tunnel were closed around 8:40 p.m., and Brown said they would remain closed until further notice.

Temperatures were expected to reach about 19 degrees overnight in Chattanooga, and intermittent scattered flurries and snow showers were expected in some areas, especially in higher elevations, WRCB reported on its website.

In anticipation of possible hazaradous roads, officials in some counties chose to delay or cancel school. There will be no classes today in Cumberland County, north of Chattanooga. Some schools in western North Carolina planned to start classes two hours late.

Amy Maxwell, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services, said she didn't expect a lot of ice on the roads, but still cautioned drivers.

"It's the kinds of things people forget," she said. "The roads may still be wet even if it's not raining."

It is expected to be sunny today with highs in the mid-30s, according Kate Guillet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn.

It is expected to continue being windy but it will not reach the 17 mph winds seen Monday, she said. By Wednesday, temperatures should reach the upper 40s.

Temperatures are expected to reach the 50s and 60s by Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

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about Perla Trevizo...

Perla Trevizo joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2007 and covers immigration/diversity issues and higher education. She holds a master’s degree in newswire journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas. In 2011 she participated in the Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, producing a series on Guatemalan immigrants for which she ...

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