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Weather burdens local law enforcement

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Vehicles in snow

Inclement weather caused a string of collisions in and around Walla Walla within the past 24 hours, officials said.

Walla Walla police responded to 13 collisions due to the snow and ice, according to Sgt. Eric Knudson. The number wasn't a record, he wrote in an email, but added to officers' regular calls.

Washington State Patrol troopers went to six accidents — mostly caused by people driving too fast for conditions — in Walla Walla County from 2 p.m. Monday until about 9:30 a.m. today, according to a social media post from WSP spokesman Chris Thorson.

College Place police responded to six calls in the past 24 hours where vehicles either slid off the road or were in a collision, according to Officer Dylan Schmick.

Deputies went to five collisions, three weather-related, according to the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office. No injuries were reported, according to Undersheriff Joe Klundt.

Ten weather-related crashes occurred in the northern part of Umatilla County (Athena to Milton-Freewater), according to Kathy Lieuallen, Umatilla County Sheriff's Office Captain and 911 manager.

Seven happened on Highway 11 and one on Highway 204, which were transferred to the Oregon State Police. UCSO deputies took one call on Highway 339 and one on Highway 11, she wrote in an email. Three of those needed medics.

Additionally, Lieuallen wrote, East Umatilla County Fire & Rescue went to two of the crashes on Highway 11.

She added it was just one section of the area.

"Dispatch was busy all over the county," she wrote.

And Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to just one semi-tractor trailer that slid into the ditch because of the slick conditions, according to Tim Quigg, civil deputy.

"He was pulled out and went on his way," Quigg wrote in an email.

Washington State Patrol was called to a collision several miles north of Dayton Monday near midnight in which five Oregon residents in a single vehicle were injured. The release said the driver may have been at speeds "too fast for conditions," according to the release.

Emily Thornton can be reached at or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.