Wet, wintry weather swirled wheels in waves Wednesday

Wet, wintry weather swirled wheels in waves Wednesday

New York State Police investigating “a host of weather-related accidents on the Thruway in Westchester and the Rockland Counties” after freezing rain made the roads treacherously slippery this morning.

Troopers say calls related to accidents started with a shower just after 6 p.m. 06.00.

They say I-287, I-95 and I-87 were all affected by major delays in some cases. Although most involved multiple vehicles, the majority only included property damage reports. However, the NYSP says about twelve involved injuries that state police describe as “minor.”

One of the accidents caused all westbound lanes of I-287 between Exit 8 (Hutchinson River Parkway) and Exit 9A (I-684) to be closed for about an hour. This collision involved “several passenger vehicles as well as a small tanker carrying fuel oil.” The tanker spilled about a thousand liters of fuel. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Hazmat was called in to assist with other relief workers.

A separate crash on I-87 northbound in Suffern caused minor damage. All lanes at exit 15 were blocked for ninety minutes before reopening. The accident involved a dump truck and three cars.

State police say weather-related accidents continued throughout the early afternoon.

They advise drivers to exercise caution in bad weather and drive slowly as conditions require.

According to US Department of Transportation The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had approximately 182,000 police-reported accidents during winter weather conditions in 2019. Of these, 33,000 involved injuries and 440 were fatal. NHTSA recommends routine maintenance of cars, especially in the winter. Extra emphasis should be placed on things like lighting, engine fluid levels and even floor mats. “Improperly installed floor mats,” says NHTSA, “… could interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash.”

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