At around 7 pm on Sunday February 9th, a driver of a car lost control as he was driving down from Monroe Street on Academy. This caused the driver to crash into another passengers car, which in turn caused that driver to hit in a snow bank. Since that driver wasn’t able to move this caused a cluster of six cars to be gathered by the area of Academy between the Library and Trowbridge.
“It was pure ice and freezing cold,” said Security Officer, Paul Davis, when describing the scene
According to Davis, one of the cars that was hit was a parked brand new car that belonged to a Kalamazoo faculty member. No students were involved in the accident and no one was injured.
Since Academy is a city street, Davis notified Kalamazoo Public Safety (KPS) who arrived on the scene in eight to ten minutes with a tow truck and blocked of the street for about 2 hours, directing people from Monroe to Buckley.
Davis mentioned how hard it was to direct traffic since Academy is a long street and that it required a security truck that was parked diagonally to close off the road.
“I called Eric [Director of Security, Eric Wimbley], Dean Joshua and the President to explain to them the situation,” said Davis.
While the road was blocked off the city of Kalamazoo, plowed and treated the roads with a brown salt like grain.
“Whatever they did, they did it well,” said Davis.
Paul Manstrom, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management, noted that since Academy Street is publically owned by the city, the College has a partnership with the city to plow and salt the brick portion in exchange for free salt.
“That day wasn’t normal conditions to call people in on the weekend to salt the street,” said Manstrom.
On weekends FacMan relies on reports from security and campus to determine what type of grounds work needs to be done in order to keep students safe.
Manstrom mentioned that FacMan is trying to use less salt in order to be environmentally friendly but in this case “safety trumps saving the environment”.
Currently the College, owns Acker Lane and Campus Drive so they are solely responsible for maintain those streets. The plane in the future is to acquire Catherine Drive.
“We [Kalamazoo College] owns most of the property on that street but one house,” said Manstrom.
To prevent another incident like this from happening again in the future, FacMan plans to pay close attention to the road conditions because “ice can sometimes look wet and not that damaging.”