Kodiak body shops busy from accident damage

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2002

KODIAK (AP) -- It will take until spring to repair all the vehicles damaged in accidents during a snow storm last week, according to local body shops and insurance companies.

At least 35 vehicular incidents were reported Jan. 22 after 6.5 inches of snow fell and turned streets slick.

R C Enterprises had 50 people stop by for estimates the day of the storm and 30 more came in a day later. Damage estimates ran from a low of $250 to a high of about $8,000, said spokeswoman Randi Chase.

Phones rang all day at insurance companies.

''It was a busy afternoon,'' said Anita Tibbetts, an insurance company employee. She said it takes 15-20 minutes to record a claim. The moment employees finished, they went to voice mail and called back the next person, she said.

Insurance agent John Sweeney called it a crazy day.

''You know when you go outside in the morning and your foot slips it's going to be bad,'' he said.

Police Chief T.C. Camai said two department vehicles were hit, but only one was damaged.

''An officer was sitting in his patrol car with a person involved in the accident he was investigating, when a car slid sideways into them. ''That vehicle wasn't damaged and thankfully no one was hurt,'' Camai said.

The second hit was to a detective's car.

''All plain clothes offers were pulled in that day to help with the calls,'' Camai said. ''The detective was investigating an accident at the intersection of Ismailov and Rezanof when an approaching car lost control and slid into his vehicle. The damage was minimal, maybe $400 or $500.''

''For officers it was scary. They were out directing traffic and vehicles were sliding all around them. And drivers were doing the best they could do, short of not being on the road,'' Camai said.

From the slightest slope, vehicles lost traction and sailed.

''Coming onto Welson from Upper Mill Bay I completely lost control,'' said college librarian Janet Banes. ''The car was like a ghost. It had its own mind. I was paralyzed.''

She and another driver posted themselves to try to prevent vehicles from entering a parking lot until city workers arrived with sand and a police officer showed up.

''The officer stepped out of the car, stood up and fell. She fell again later,'' Banes said, expressing concern for the officer' comfort.

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