Warning: Wet, Wintry Weather Whirled Wheels in Waves Wednesday
New York State Police are investigating "a multitude of weather-related crashes on the Thruway in Westchester and Rockland Counties" after freezing rain made roads treacherously slick this morning.
Troopers say that calls related to accidents started with a flurry just after 6:00am.
They say I-287, I-95, and I-87 were all affected with major delays in some cases. Although most involved several vehicles the majority included reports of property damage only. However, the NYSP says that approximately twelve involved injuries that State Police describe as "minor."
One of the crashes 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. That collision included "multiple passenger vehicles as well as a small tanker carrying heating oil." The tanker spilled approximately one thousand gallons of fuel. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Hazmat was called in to assist along with other emergency responders.
A separate crash on I-87 northbound in Suffern caused minor injuries. All lanes on the the Exit 15 off-ramp were blocked for ninety minutes prior to reopening. That crash involved a dump truck and three passenger vehicles.
State Police say that weather-related crashes continued throughout the early afternoon.
They are advising drivers to use caution in inclement weather and drive slowly as conditions require.
According to the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were approximately 182,000 police-reported crashes during wintry weather conditions in 2019. Of those 33,000 involved injuries and 440 were fatal. The NHTSA recommends routine automotive maintenance especially in the winter. Extra attention should be paid to items like lights, engine fluid levels, and even floor mats. "Improperly installed floor mats," the NHTSA says, "... could interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash."
LOOK: Food history from the year you were born
LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born