Work Piling Up At Tulsa Body Shops

Wednesday, January 28th 2009, 7:11 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The number of auto accidents was down Wednesday, but body shops expect to have several months of work.

Tulsa Police say if drivers would slow down, they could safely make it home.

Even though the streets have improved, they will refreeze overnight and could be icy Thursday morning.

Emergency responders spent another busy day handling accidents on icy roads.

In one crash, a woman spun out in her SUV. She told officers she hit the brakes to avoid hitting a car just ahead of her.

"There are some knuckleheads out there who are driving above the speed limit because they have SUV's and trucks, and they think they can control their vehicles on the wet and icy roads," Officer Paul Downe of Tulsa Police said.

On Monday, there were hundreds of accidents in the Tulsa area, and by Wednesday it was down to dozens.

The highways remained slushy, where many of the accidents happened.

The body shops are just beginning to see cars come in from the ice storm, and they're not expecting anything like the wave of cars they saw back in December 2007.

"The thing about this one is it's mainly cars sliding off the road, suspension damage and sliding into each other," said Sidd Morrison with Chris Nikel Collision. "But last year's ice storm, with the tree limbs and the damage on the cars, it was more than Tulsa body shops could handle. It took us six months to get through that."

At Chris Nikel Collision Center, a few cars were towed in with ice storm damage. They expect many more once the insurance companies catch up.

"We may have a month's worth of work out of it, maybe six months, but if you get scheduled early, you'll be one of the first ones out before the rush hits," Morrison said.

So if you have an accident, expect some delays in getting an estimate and repairs.