The big winter storm caused several accidents today throughout Central Oregon. Highway 97 near Chemult was closed for several hours because of crashes and near Warm Springs. Highway 26 was closed for about an hour due to an accident involving a semi. There were several minor accidents around Bend as well. Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says many crashes can be avoided if drivers would just slow down. "Driving too fast for conditions and having too much faith and confidence in your own driving on slicker icy roads and just because you have a four wheel drive doesn't mean that you'll be able to avoid something in front of you, or an evasive move. So everyone has to be more patient on the slick roads. Drive well enough ahead of yourself, and help someone else if they need help; and drive in the 'good stuff'.” Sheriff Blanton says that means you need to stay off of the "slick" polished off areas of highway and avoid ruts. He says you should also try to stay away from piled up snow between lanes, as lane changes on snow can often pitch people sideways or into the oncoming lanes.