Authorities Encourage Safe Driving as Storm Approaches

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Authorities are blaming icy roads for a Beverly man's death.

They say Christopher Smith, 44, slid on a slippery patch when his car careened into the Muskingum river

And the travel advisory this weekend in Washington County was only a level one when authorities found his body.

"Part of the content of a level one is that the roads are hazardous with blowing drifting snow and icy patches," said Major Jon Coppernoll with the Washington County Sheriff's Office. "We would encourage motorists to drive cautiously."

The roads may be clear now, but come Thursday, they'll likely be coated with snow and ice again

Washington County officials are warning people to avoid getting too confident- particularly when on ice.

"A lot of people have the misconception that if they have a four wheel drive then they can go better in the snow, which in the snow they probably do go somewhat better, but on the ice, whether you have a four wheel drive or a two wheel drive, it's just the number of how many wheels you have sliding," said Coppernoll.

He also said slowing down and keeping a safe distance between yourself and the car you're following is a must during a level one advisory.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Office encourages avoiding the roads if you can during a level two.

Level three means staying inside.

"That's when the roadways are actually closed to all non-emergency personnel," he explained. "People can actually be subject to arrest if they're out driving on the road ways."

But as Smith's accident shows, road conditions during even a level one advisory can be deadly.

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