PAYETTE -- Black ice on Interstate 84 created hazardous conditions near Payette Friday morning, sending multiple vehicles sliding into each other or spinning into the ditch.
I-84 was blocked for some time as emergency crews responded to the wrecks, most of which were between Sand Hollow and the Oregon state line, but has since been reopened. Dispatchers said shortly before 1 p.m. that roads remain very slick in the area, and traffic is moving slowly.
About a half-dozen people were taken to area hospitals from numerous wrecks, according to Idaho State Police, including two paramedics who were responding to a different wreck when they were hit.
The Payette County Sheriff's Office said the paramedics were riding in the New Plymouth Quick Response Unit ambulance when the crash happened. Photos provided to KTVB show the ambulance's entire back end caved in from the impact.
Icy conditions lead to crashes on Interstate 84
Luckily, both medics suffered only minor injuries, and have been released from the hospital. No one was killed in any of the crashes, police say.
Authorities say temperatures are not expected to rise enough to melt the black ice, which is nearly invisible on the roadway. Drivers are asked to slow down, and travel only if necessary.
"Motorists should find an alternative route of travel to avoid the closures and to allow our responders safe and adequate room to assist the involved motorists and get the crash sites cleared,” Lt. Andrew Creech said.
The Idaho Transportation Department has dispatched trucks to the area to spread deicer and sand.