Students get a snow day; commuters get a headache

Banks officials cancel classes; Forest Grove and Gaston had pre-planned day off

After days of warnings, snow finally fell throughout the metropolitan area early Monday morning, threatening commuters and forcing school districts to scramble.

Forecasts call for warming as the day continues, although scattered snow showers are also possible.

Banks School District officials canceled all classes. Schools in the Forest Grove, Gaston and Hillsboro districts were scheduled to be closed anyway for a teacher training day.

Some districts in Multnomah County only delayed opening two hours and cancelled morning kindergarten. They included Portland, Gresham-Barlow, Reynolds and Centennial.

Portland maintenance workers spread sand and de-icing solution to known trouble spots overnight. In Clark County, road crews were also spraying de-icer on hills, bridges and major intersections.

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TriMet officials said the transit agency was geared up to use chains on buses serving east-side and higher elevation neighborhoods. The bad weather first hit Saturday when icy roads caused numerous traffic accidents and closed several roads on both the east and west sides of the Portland area Saturday morning.

They included two fatal accidents and a number of roll-overs.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said ice contributed to a fatal accident on Interstate 84. The east side freeway was closed at Troutdale while the accident was investigated.

The sheriff's office also closed Cornelius Pass Road on the west side of the county from Skyline Boulevard to Highway 30 for several hours. The road is now open and crews have spread sand on problem areas.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office blamed icy conditions for a two-vehicle accident that killed a 23-year-old Oregon City man Saturday morning on South Springwater Road east of Oregon City.

Deputies said Alejandro Fragoso-Huerta, 17810 S. Clackamas River Road, was employed as at a horse ranch and also worked as a line cook at the Stone Cliff Inn. All of his immediate family lives in Mexico.

His name was released in the early evening.

The accident happened at 9:30 a.m. a quarter mile east of Bakers Ferry Road.

Sheriff's deputies said Fragoso-Huetra's red 1982 Toyota pickup was traveling east on Springwater Road when it lost control on icy pavement. Witnesses said the truck fishtailed and slid into the westbound lane and into the path of a black 1995 Ford F-350 pickup driven by 46-year-old Grant Carl Cole.

Deputies estimate both trucks were traveling about 35 mph at the time of the collision.

Fragoso-Huerta, the only person in the Toyota, was pulled from the vehicle by Clackamas Fire District No. 1 crews and taken o Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, where he died.

Cole was not injured.

No citations are issued in the accident.

Springwater Road was closed because of the accident and dangerous road conditions.

Icy trouble in the Hills

Meanwhile, a thin layer of ice could be found on some streets in Portland's West Hills Saturday morning as two converging storm fronts threatened to spread slippery conditions throughout the region during the weekend.

Weather forecasts called for a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow showers from Saturday through Sunday night, raising the possibility of a risky Monday morning commute.

In Portland, city work crews were busy preparing for the conditions by applying sand and de-icer to known trouble spots. and Fox News 12 contributed to this story.