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Freezing rain took St. Louis area residents and the Missouri Department of Transportation by surprise Wednesday morning, causing numerous accidents throughout the region.  The worst of the accidents occurred when a tractor trailer jack-knifed on Highway 64/40 near Vandeventer Avenue at approximately 5:00 a.m.  Icy roadway conditions caused vehicles that came upon the semi to slide into each other resulting in a 31-vehicle pileup.  Even the first responders to the scene became victims of the icy conditions when two ambulances, two firetrucks and a fire department supervisor's truck were struck.  Twenty-one people were taken to area hospitals, one in critical condition.

Some are questioning whether or not MoDOT could have prevented this and several other area accidents from happening had they began treating roads earlier that morning.  MoDOT's representatives are pointing to the fact that area meterologists were taken offguard by the freezing rain as the reason why they were not prepared for the conditions.  Read today's article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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