When it was announced that this would be an El Nino winter in California, snow and rain enthusiasts rejoiced. But while there was certainly more precepitation this year than the past few — a recent survey showed that the snow pack was 106% above previous averages — the season’s rain still fell below expectations.

But if the rainy season is almost over, you wouldn’t know it in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, which have been drenched by pounding rain since late last week. This relentless downpour is far from harmless, and led to two tragic auto accidents this week.

On Sunday, slick roads and bad visibility caused a three-car pile up on Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles. The rainy conditions led a pickup truck to spin out of control, colliding with two other cars and killing a 56 year old man, a teenager, and three siblings under 10. That same night, during a similar rainstorm in Walnut Creek, a 40-year-old man was killed when his vehicle spun out of control into a ditch. The storm was so powerful that it washed the victim’s parents into a canal, forcing a rescue a California Highway Patrol officer called “the most intense rescue that I’ve ever done.”

These horrible accidents should serve as a reminder to drivers that in bad weather, you’re never in complete control of the road, even if you’re doing everything right. Remember to take extra precautions, and if  you are involved in an accident, refer to our Car Accident Preparedness PDF for the best next steps.

Keep safe on those roads!

Photo credit: Pieter Musterd (Creative Commons)