Department of Public Safety officials continue to urge motorists to stay off state roadways

As winter weather continues to plague many areas of Oklahoma, state officials are busy implementing plans to rescue stranded motorists in the hardest hit areas of the Creek, Muskogee and Will Rogers turnpikes.

"We are coordinating efforts with Turnpike officials, Highway Patrol, National Guard and ODOT assets to attempt rescues of stranded motorists. We are urging citizens to stay off roadways as not to further hinder our efforts," said Colonel Kerry Pettingill, Chief of the Highway Patrol.

As this weather system continues to move through the state, it adversely affects Troopers, National Guardsmen and other emergency personnel the same as it does the general public.

"Many of our emergency responders have become stuck or stranded while attempting to rescue motorists, so it's vitally important for the public to assist our efforts by not getting out and compounding the already difficult task", said Pettingill.

With 11 of 13 field troops reporting, OHP reports 73 collisions, with 5 injury collisions, and over 500 motorists assists since midnight.