Deputy crash demonstrates hydroplaning dangers

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News 12 at 11:00, June 21, 2007

AIKEN, SC--An Aiken County deputy is recovering after rainwater got between his tires and the asphalt. The sheriff's department says 36 year old John McCord hydroplaned across Silver Bluff Road in Aiken yesterday.
News 12 is on your side with a look at how slick roads can cause you to lose control.

You can still see the shattered glass on the side of the road. William Gathers saw Deputy John McCord heading over this hill, on the way to a call. He saw water washing across this road after the recent rainfall. And, he watched as the deputy's tires seemed to detach from the road, sending him straight toward the truck in the oncoming lane.

"He got pent in the car, so i ran down the hill to help him get out cause gas was leakin all out." Gathers said.

Lt. Michael Frank says crashes like that happen here a lot.

"The drivers tires ride up on that cushion of water, and the driver loses control of the vehicle." He said.

Hydroplaning can happen with just an eighth of an inch of rain. Grady knight with c and c automotive says that's especially true if your tires are worn. He says the more tread they have...The more control you'll have

"Tires provide direct traction on the road, in order to keep the vehicle under control." He said.

But, William says it's hard for anyone to stay in control in cases like this, when two inches of water flooded the road, sending Deputy McCord straight for another driver.

"They need to fix the street. Everytime it rains, there's a puddle at the bottom of the hill." He said.

Lt. Frank says they plan to ask the Department of Transportation to improve the road.

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