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Icy road claims life

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By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post

A Lebanon woman was killed Monday afternoon in a two-car accident on Interstate 40 in Nashville while driving in a slush-covered lane on the roadway.

The victim was identified as Elaine Pfingsten, 34, of Lebanon. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident which occurred about 1:15 p.m.

According to a news release from the Metro Nashville Police Department, Pfingsten was driving a Chevrolet Trail Blazer SUV westbound on I-40 near Briley Parkway when she lost control of the vehicle in the slush-covered far right lane and collided with a Ford F-250 pickup truck.

The passenger in Pfingsten’s SUV, Jeta Qose, 36, of Nashville, was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she was listed in critical but stable condition.

Both women, according to police, were wearing their seatbelts.

The driver of the pickup truck, identified as Stephen Bowen, 23, of Hermitage, was not injured. Police said he was also wearing a seatbelt.

Locally, Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said there were no fatalities in the city, but there 13 accidents that occurred from Friday, Jan. 29 through Monday, Feb. 1, all attributed to road conditions as a result of the snow and ice this past weekend.

Of those 13 accidents, he said, eight of them involved property damage and five were with injury.

Lebanon Police responded to four accidents on I-40 where Bowen said bridges and overpasses were the main problems.

“Bridges and overpasses can be slick,” he noted, and ice can form on them before it forms on anything else.

“We were real fortunate,” Bowen said, adding he believed that many people made it home before the snow began falling and that many others simply did not venture out.

He complimented the school systems for canceling classes when they did which kept school buses off the roads.

“It’s not worth the risk of someone getting hurt,” the police chief said.

Bowen praised the efforts of police officers, and in some cases firefighters, who responded to calls. He noted they worked long hours during the snow and ice event using care on the roadways as well as they responded to accidents.

Mike Browning, director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Safety, said there were no fatalities on the interstate or other roadways in Wilson County as a result of the wintry weather.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

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