Body shops are expecting a flood of new customers

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Hundreds of cars were damaged during the Monday morning drive to work because of slick roads. A mixture of ice and snow sent some morning commuters sliding off into ditches or spinning out of control and crashing into other vehicles.

Elsa Avila was driving to a meeting on I-170 when her car hit a slick spot.

“It happened so fast I don’t really know what happened,” she said.

Avila said her car spun around and slammed into a concrete barrier. Because of the extent of the damage, her car may never drive again but she wasn’t hurt.

“Lucky I was wearing my seatbelt. I think that’s what saved my life because I don’t know how I got out without any injuries,” said Avila.

It’ll be up to her insurance company to decide if her car can be repaired.

Dennis Carroll, owner of Don’s Body Shop on Woodsen Road, said it usually takes a couple of days of communicating with insurance companies before cars start showing up for repairs following a winter event. He said he is expecting the usual types of damage.

“Usually, they slide off, and they hit the guardrail, or they hit the median or something like that. Tears the front end up or front and back if they spin around. Some of them come in with no bumper, it’s laying in the street still,” said Carroll.

Tow truck operators have been working non-stop since Sunday evening, pulling cars out of ditches and responding to accidents. Nick Lewis is the owner of Viper Towing, which has six tow trucks.

“We’ve seen everything from accidents, people hitting each other to sliding down in the ditches. We got one out of a creek this morning,” said Lewis.

Anyone who was the victim of the latest round of winter weather and has a vehicle that needs repairs will need to be patient about getting it back. Carroll said because of supply chain problems, some parts are hard to get. He said repairs can run anywhere from two days to two months.