Authorities say the woman lost control while driving on a snow-covered road in rural Missouri on Friday and drifted into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Added to that, the governor's news release said almost "1,000 N.C. Department of Transportation workers are working to clear snow and ice in the western part of the state and the Triad". The storm dumped more than a foot of snow in several parts of Missouri and almost two feet in one city.
"We have a strong snowstorm that's stretching 1,400 miles from Kansas to the East Coast", CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. "St. Louis unfortunately was the bullseye of this storm".
There is a small chance the southern Appalachians will get enough freezing rain and sleet to bring an ice event Saturday into Sunday.
Many area road crews also continue 24 hour work to clean and treat roads across the region. The Southeast has seen abundant precipitation in December and January, and the additional rain could put a strain on already-high rivers.
In Kansas City, where the Chiefs were hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, about 8 inches of snow had fallen by early afternoon.
In a suburb of Chicago, Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was standing outside his patrol vehicle at the scene of a three-car crash when a driver struck him, authorities say.
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In a tweet Saturday night, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it had responded to 57 injuries, 878 crashes, 1,790 stranded motorists and 3,918 calls for service. In Columbia, Mo., an American Airlines flight slid off the runway, one Twitter user reported. Up to 18 inches (45 cm) of snow were expected in the Sangre de Cristo mountains south of Denver, according to the National Weather Service.
At least five deaths in the state have been reported due to automobile crashes on the icy roads.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services warned if you lose or have lost power, to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, "never use a gas-powered generator or other fuel-burning appliance indoors or in the garage", McClatchy previously reported.
Several of the major interstates, including I-44, were particularly challenging for crews to clear.
Officials across the region urged travelers to stay off the roads, warning of delays up to eight hours.
Drivers weren't the only ones negatively affected by the extreme weather conditions: Dozens of flights were cancelled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the snowstorm as one of the largest on record. Airports in Indianapolis and Kansas City, Missouri, also saw above-average cancellations as the storm tracked across the nation's midsection.