Icy roads creating dangerous driving conditions

NOVATO, Calif.

Looking at all the sunshine in San Rafael Friday, it was hard to believe the roads in the North Bay were covered in ice in the morning -- but they were -- and Novato saw several wipeouts. In one case, a double whammy which was a very close call for an experienced motorcyclist.

"I came into this last curve down here and the rear end started coming around on me. I started to correct it and I was going to go the other way, so I just laid it down," the rider recalled. "The bike slid about 62 feet.

That was just the first part of the accident. "Another vehicle came down, went to swerve around the motorcyclist and went to the ditch here, and struck the tree," explained acting Novato Fire Chief Nole Pacheco.

The driver and the motorcyclist, a former police officer, are OK. "I was on my feet, away from the bike, and as she came around the corner I was trying to stop her. That didn't work," the motorcyclist said.

On Novato Boulevard, the CHP had to close the road at one for a sand truck trying to improve traction.

"The temperatures were right about freezing last night. This particular area had a lot of low-lying fog. We had a lot of moisture on the roadway as a result," said CHP Officer Andrew Barclay. "So it looks like a lot of that moisture froze up and we had not just patches, but entire stretches of ice.

Barclay said there were 8 to 10 ice-related wrecks in just over four hours Friday morning but luckily, no one was seriously hurt.

The CHP offers the following tips: Slow down, and if you hit black ice, don't steer hard, don't brake hard, and don't think you're safe just because you have four-wheel or all-wheel drive because if you hit ice, you will still slide.

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