Fifteen cars spun, slid and crashed on highway 412 near Kincheloe Road in Siloam Springs, according to state police. It happened before 6 a.m. Friday (Dec. 13).
State police said one person was injured and transported to the Siloam Springs hospital.
“It was bad,” said Robert Barnes, of Siloam Springs. “I just couldn’t do anything but sit there and watch.”
Barnes said he was near the front of the chain reaction crash. He said he was on his way to work when he witnessed a truck ahead of him lose control.
“He did two 360s right in the middle of the bridge, he bounced off both sides of the bridge,” Barnes said. “I put my truck in neutral to stop so I wouldn’t be pushed into him. I almost got off the bridge when the little car in front of us hit me.”
“It was just like a chain reaction for the next 30 minutes,” Barnes said.
Barnes said he wasn’t hurt but the back of his truck was damaged. He said if an 18-wheeler hadn’t stopped, more cars would have been involved.
“There was a semi, good for him because he stopped in the middle of the bridge and he stopped the flow of traffic,” Barnes said. “It would have been a lot worse.”
The slick conditions also caused cars to slide off the highway 412 into ditches. Tow companies like Downtown Towing were extremely busy.
“Of course the bridges are ice covered, we’ve been working on those and getting them out of there,” said Jill Lewis with Downtown Towing.
Of the cars that slid off the road, one almost ended up in the woods. Lewis said this was one of several accidents in the area.
“This is our fifth, sixth car today and we are heading for one more,” Lewis said.
As for Barnes he said he took a lesson out of this experience.
“When you are on bridge and ice be careful,” Barnes said. “It doesn’t matter if the roads are clear those bridges are bad.”