A Clear Lake woman was killed in a 25-car pileup on Interstate 35 between Dows and Williams Friday afternoon in blizzard conditions.
The Iowa State Patrol said 27-year-old Colby Bostick got out of her vehicle after her car was hit to check on her child in the back seat. While she was outside her vehicle, she was struck by another car. Colby’s husband, Cody, who was with her in the car and her son, one-year-old Easton, were not injured.
Also killed in the pileup was 43-year-old Sheila Blood, of Arkansas.
The Iowa State Patrol said poor visibility caused the accident Thursday morning when drivers were unable to see vehicles that had slowed or stopped, causing a chain reaction of crashes. Seven other people were injured in the accident.
Bostick was a 2004 graduate of Crossville High School in Crossville, Ala. She and her husband, a Texas native, moved to Clear Lake, three months ago for his job at Power Equipment Maintenance Inc., a family member told the Alabama Media Group, AL.com. Bostick was four-months pregnant with twins at the time of the accident, they said.
Interstate 35 was re-opened Friday morning between Ames and Albert Lea after Thursday’s winter storm forced the road to be closed.
The first major winter storm of the season left a wide range of snowfall totals across Iowa. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said the heaviest snow, 13.8 inches, fell at the National Weather Service office in Johnston. Areas of northeast Iowa also reported high snowfall totals, with 10 inches in Waterloo and up to 11 inches in Dubuque. Meanwhile, many areas of far northwest and southeast Iowa received just one to three inches of snow. Six inches of snow was reported in Mason City.
Hillaker reported the blizzard may be the biggest winter storm to hit Iowa since Dec. 8-9, 2009, although that event was more widespread. That storm had a statewide average of 10.3 inches of snowfall. The totals are not yet in for the recent storm, but Hillaker predicted the 2012 storm will probably end up being around 6 to 6.5 inches for a statewide average.
The National Weather Service reported winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour across much of the state Thursday, with a 60 mile per hour wind gust recorded in Ottumwa.
The snow North Central Iowa received is expected to stay, as high temperatures are expected in the teens to low 30s.