A pursuit with a stolen semi tractor from Red Deer to Airdrie ended with an arrest and no injuries. Sleet and slick pavements caused cars to slide off the road across Macon County on Saturday afternoon, with heavier snow causing visibility problems north of Decatur. The National Weather Service had predicted as much as 9 inches of snow and gusts of up to 35 mph in parts of northern and central Illinois. Winter storm warnings went into effect Friday. The weather service said difficult travel conditions due to slick roads, gusty winds and poor visibility were reported north of Interstate 74.
— NWS Lincoln IL (@NWSLincolnIL) March 24, 2018
Freezing rain and occasional hail pelted Decatur for most of the day. By mid-afternoon, temperatures dropped and caused the pavements to freeze, said Lt. Jamie Belcher of the sheriff’s office. “People weren’t expecting it all of a sudden,” he said. He urged drivers to give themselves extra time to reach a destination and avoid unnecessary travel. On U.S. 51 north of Clinton, sleet and snow caused near-whiteout conditions at times. Snow was inches deep on most of the roadway, and multiple vehicles had slid off the highway. In Macon County, the sheriff’s office did respond to one rollover accident at Illinois 48 and Miller Road. The driver of the single vehicle suffered minor back injuries, Belcher said. Sgt. Adam Jahraus of the Decatur Police Department said city police had responded to one crash in the afternoon at U.S. 36 and Sunnyside Road. There were no injuries. Police also responded to a two-vehicle crash at Main Street and Eldorado Street that took place at 1 p.m. One of the vehicles was flipped onto its roof in the roadway. Jahraus said the crash resulted in minor injuries, but was not immediately able to provide more information Saturday afternoon.
Red Barn Kitchen at the Decatur Airport on the city’s east side closed for dinner on Saturday night, reporting that the dining room had flooded and floors would need to be replaced. Sunny skies and high near 40 are forecast Sunday in Decatur region.