Brian Champagne
Freezing rain on state Route 89 between Sardine Canyon and Logan sent at least a dozen vehicles sliding off the highway on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2017.

WELLSVILLE, Cache County — Freezing afternoon rain ahead of a snowstorm created treacherous driving near Wellsville on Saturday.

Ice on state Route 89 between Sardine Canyon and Logan sent at least a dozen vehicles sliding off the highway shortly after 1 p.m.

"All I saw was a white SUV that just kind of lost control and slid right into the side of me. I spun and then I flipped a few times," said Lindsay Short, who was uninjured in the crash.

Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper said about 16 cars were involved in the snarl, but all the crashes were minor. Only about four tow trucks were required to remove disabled vehicles, while the rest were able to drive away once they were pulled back onto the road.

"It was just some black ice that drivers weren't prepared for, They weren't slowing their speeds down, and about 15 or 16 paid the price for it," Hopper said.

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He warned Utah drivers to slow down this weekend, wear their seat belts and "expect to run into black ice."

The National Weather Service on Twitter warned drivers that freezing rain could continue in Cache County through about 4 p.m., even though snow was beginning to fall in the area.

"Freezing rain is relatively rare in Utah, occurring roughly one (or) two times per winter. Remember, you may not see the ice on the road until it's too late. Drive slow and carefully with increased distance from the car in front of you," the National Weather Service advised.