By-pass backup: Slippery roads wreak havoc

When it rains it pours, and notorious afternoon thunderstorms are infamous for rendering roads in Charlottesville more like water slides than thoroughfares. But even with lowered visibility and slick pavement, some drivers seem to think they're above the laws of physics. And so when it rains, EMTs, police, firefighters, and tow-truck drivers hang loose, waiting for the call.

One call came around rush hour Thursday, July 1, when Shawn T. Bailey of Welk Place lost control of his Dodge sedan and crashed into a utility pole beside the westbound lane of 250 just past the McIntire Skate Park.

Live wires stretched across all four lanes. Despite reports of smoke, no fire erupted. Bailey, who was taken to the hospital and released, was charged with reckless driving.

Police were forced to block the Bypass in both directions around the accident while Dominion Power worked to restore the juice. Eastbound traffic was diverted to Rose Hill Drive, which was also backed up. Westbound traffic was diverted down McIntire. The road was still closed at 8pm.

Traffic is diverted down McIntire.

Officer Mark R. Frazier points the way.

The line isn't so bad. It's the waiting that sucks.

The scene was serene after the rain stopped.

Not even Wal-Mart could get past officer Lindsey Adderley.

Dominion Virginia Power workers doing their thing

What a wreck on a wrecker!