Dreams of a white Christmas took on a nightmarish quality for motorists last week.
On Thursday, as the snow fell, emergency workers were called to numerous accidents on Highway 97.
“Roads were extremely slippery,” said Cpl. Bruce Haley of the Summerland RCMP detachment. “It was significant snowfall for this area.”
The snowfall started late Thursday morning and continued throughout the rest of the day.
From 2:30 p.m. until midnight, police were called to 10 accidents.
Two were on Highway 97 north of Summerland, two were in the core of the community, one was on Highway 97 at Walters Road, one was in Trout Creek and four were between Sunoka Beach and Penticton.
More calls came in the following morning, although road conditions had improved by that time.
Haley urges motorists to use caution during winter conditions. “People need to adjust their driving habits accordingly,” he said.
He added that motorists should have appropriate tires in order to cope with the winter road conditions.
Rob Robinson of the Summerland Fire Department said crews were called to five accidents during the day.
Two were rollovers and one was a vehicle on its roof.
Five people had to be removed from their vehicles. Twice rescue workers needed to use the jaws to free people trapped in vehicles. Three times they had to break windows to allow people to exit their vehicles.
He urges motorists to slow down during winter conditions and to drive slowly when passing emergency workers on the highways.