The Latest 2 Texas first responders killed amid storm
LUBBOCK, Texas — The latest on severe storms in the U.S. South (all times local)
Two Texas first responders were killed on Saturday and another was injured after they were hit by a vehicle while working the scene of a traffic accident during icy conditions resulting from severe weather that moved through the area, officials said.
The first responders were at the scene of two separate accidents on Interstate 27 around 8:30 a.m. in Lubbock when a vehicle traveling southbound crossed into the median and hit two Lubbock firefighters and one Lubbock police officer.
Severe storms that swept across parts of the U.S. South on Friday night and Saturday resulted in snow in the Lubbock area as well as icy roadways.
The police officer — 27-year-old Officer Nicholas Reyna — died at the scene. He had been with the police department for one year.
Two firefighters — 39-year-old Lt. David Hill and 30-year-old Matthew Dawson — were transported to a local hospital.
Hill was pronounced dead at the hospital. Dawson was listed in critical condition and was taken into surgery.
Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said when road conditions get bad due to weather, drivers need to “slow down. They need to understand the road conditions are dangerous. We have people out there trying to protect them.”
Freezing rain left roads and trees glazed with ice Saturday across parts of northern Illinois as a winter storm packing a mixed bag of precipitation cut power to about 5,000 homes and businesses across the region.
Just under 5,000 Commonwealth Edison customers were without power Saturday afternoon in northwestern and northern Illinois. About a third of those outages in the Freeport area, where freezing rain had coated the area with a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) of ice.
Scattered outages were also reported in the Chicago area, which was buffeted by heavy rain and high winds ahead of snow, freezing rain and sleet forecast for Saturday night.
More than 1,000 flights were canceled Saturday at Midway and O’Hare international airports because of stormy conditions that swept large waves into Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, leading to some lane closures.
A winter storm warning was in effect until early Sunday for areas of northwestern Illinois.
The National Weather Service reported that more than a quarter-inch (.63 centimeters) of ice had accumulated in the Freeport and Rockford areas, where icy roads led to numerous crashes.
One person was hospitalized after a salt truck collided with a semitrailer in Roscoe, the Rockford Register Star reported.
The wintry mix was part of a storm system that had killed least seven people across parts of the U.S. South.
The National Weather Service reports three storm-related deaths in Alabama, bringing the number of people killed following severe storms to at least seven.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham said via Twitter that the three Alabama deaths occurred in Pickens County.
Three other people have died in Louisiana and one fatality has been reported in Texas since fierce storms erupted in the southern U.S. on Friday.
Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.