NEW YORK (AP) — Rain “flash-freezing” on roads and sidewalks left an icy glaze under feet and
tires across much of the Northeast today, causing crashes that claimed at least five lives.
A crash involving as many as 60 vehicles on I-76 outside Philadelphia killed one person, and
officials said about 30 people were injured in that crash and ensuing crashes. Two people died in a
crash involving as many as 15 vehicles on nearby I-476, police said. And police in Pike County in
northeastern Pennsylvania said a man was killed after his vehicle overturned on an icy road and he
was thrown from it and hit by a commercial vehicle. A 12-year-old boy also thrown from the vehicle
was critically hurt.
In Connecticut, police cited slippery conditions in a crash that killed an 88-year-old woman who
struck a utility pole in New Haven.
“This is the worst type of winter precipitation to combat, because it can freeze instantly and
it doesn’t need to be the whole pavement for vehicles crossing it to have problems,” Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation spokesman Eugene Blaum said.
Hundreds of crashes were reported across eastern Pennsylvania, authorities said.
The National Weather Service warned tonight that temperatures were expected to drop below
freezing again in areas from northern Maryland into Philadelphia and up through northern New
Jersey. Any remaining moisture on roadways and sidewalks could re-freeze.
Kaitlyn Maier grew up in upstate New York but said that didn’t prepare her for the icy
conditions she encountered trying to get from her home in Philadelphia to her niece’s baptism.
“I’ve driven through snow a lot, and this isn’t like anything I’ve ever driven in,” Maier
She came upon the I-76 wreck moments after it happened and saw a jumbled line of cars extending
around the bend ahead of her. “We were stopped for a while on the side of the road. I was going
less than 10 mph, but I had no control of my vehicle.”
Freezing rain and snow was expected in interior parts of New England.
Dozens of spinouts and accidents were reported from northern New Jersey to southern New
Hampshire today, and treacherous conditions forced the closure of the New York State Thruway from
Newburgh to New York City during the morning. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority warned
travelers on New York City’s Metro-North commuter railroad to beware of ice on staircases,
platforms and parking lots.
On the West Coast, high winds left tens of thousands of customers without power in the Seattle
In eastern Oregon, highway officials partially reopened I-84 today after a massive crash blamed
on black ice on Saturday closed more than 160 miles of eastbound lanes. Rain was expected in
western Oregon last night and on Monday, but not as much fell as on Saturday, when 1.8 inches in
Portland sent some untreated sewage into the Willamette River.
Information from Reuters was included in this story.