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Winter weather creates risky road conditions
Sparta Highway closed for hours
Dalton Stotts, 45, was fortunate to escape serious injury Friday afternoon when his Dodge pickup left Viola Road, traveled down an embankment and came to rest upside down in a creek. The cab of the pickup was about three feet from being submerged.

Motorists traveling on Sparta Highway had a maddening wait in the late afternoon and early evening hours Friday.
Traffic came to a standstill for about two and a half hours when a number of vehicles became stuck on the hill after crossing the bridge by the VFW.
"There were about 20 cars that got crossed up on that hill," said Highway Patrol Sgt. Billy Prater. "There weren't any wrecks, but they all got stuck. They couldn't get up the hill. There was nowhere to go so we made the decision to close the road."
Prater said the road was closed around 4:15 p.m. and it was reopened around 6:40 p.m. Traffic reportedly backed up as far as Bill Holt Chevrolet during the road closure.
"Some people waited and some turned around and went back to town," said Prater. "It took us awhile to get everything straightened out. We had to get all those cars pulled out of there, then we had to scrape and salt the road."
Traffic problems weren't isolated to Sparta Highway as motorists experienced trouble throughout the county, with the worst time between 4 and 6 p.m. Friday night.
Dalton Stotts had one of the most alarming accidents when his Dodge pickup slid off the right side of Viola Road, traveled down an embankment, and overturned in a creek. Stotts, 45, was able to escape the wreckage and was not transported to the hospital, according to family members.