Emergency crews respond to cascade of crashes along I-91

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2015 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Emergency personnel across the area had their hands full on Tuesday with multiple accidents caused by freezing rain on cold roads.  Police and fire departments were stretched while emergency vehicles “crawled” along icy roads.

Vermont State Police from the Rockingham Barracks called in the night shift to respond to the large number of accidents. On Interstate 91, most crashes occurred on bridges where, even after being treated by Vermont Agency of Transportation trucks, the roadway re-froze.

At 11:12 a.m., a vehicle at I-91 mile marker 42 northbound slid into the guard rail north of Exit 7 in Springfield and rolled over, causing guard rail damage and totaling the vehicle. There were no injuries to the driver or passenger. The Springfield Fire Department and Springfield Ambulance also responded.

At 12:15 p.m., a single vehicle slid off the I-91 Exit 5 in Westminster. There were no injuries.

At 12:30 p.m., several vehicles crashed on both the north and southbound bridges over the Williams River on I-91. There were no injuries reported.

At 12:38 p.m. , several vehicles lost control on the icy northbound bridge over the Saxtons River on I-91 in Westminster. One vehicle bounced off both sides of the bridge and rolled over. Both the driver and passenger in that vehicle sustained undisclosed injuries and were transported to the Springfield Hospital by Golden Cross Ambulance.

Another northbound vehicle reacted to the first crash and began sliding across the roadway. In the process, a tractor-trailer that was traveling behind the second vehicle was unable to stop, and sideswiped it, causing significant damage to both the vehicle and the tractor-trailer.

I-91 northbound was closed near the Saxtons River Bridge for approximately an hour while occupants were removed from the vehicle then taken to the hospital and vehicles were removed from the scene. Golden Cross Ambulance, Westminster Fire Department and Bellows Falls Fire Department assisted at the scene.

At 4:28 p.m., several vehicles lost control on the icy northbound bridge over the Williams River in Rockingham. Approximately 10 vehicles lost control and struck the bridge curbs or other vehicles or both. Two occupants were transported to the Springfield Hospital by Golden Cross Ambulance for non-life threatening injuries.

I-91 northbound was closed at Exit 6 for about two hours while emergency operations were conducted by Golden Cross Ambulance and the Rockingham and Bellows Falls fire departments and vehicles were removed by area towing companies including J&M Auto and Benny’s, Fay’s and Hillside.

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