Massive crash on New Hampshire highway causes significant travel problems
An unusually large series of collisions on a New Hampshire interstate highway caused severe delays and near-total blockage of the road as emergency response crews as well as transportation department employees tried to resolve the situation on Jan. 2. A final count of the total number of vehicles involved hadn't yet been recorded, but initial estimates put the number of involved cars and trucks between 50 and 100 all together. The crashes on I-93 occurred in North Ashland, New Hampshire, in the east-central portion of the state and about 50 miles north of the major city of Concord.
Squall takes drivers unaware
Boston-based ABC affiliate WCVB reported a snow squall that quickly changed conditions for the worse on the first day of work of the new year for many people, as the storm hit the area during the morning commute. The squall moved in fast enough that drivers were unprepared for the visibility and control problems that quickly appeared as snow started accumulating. The chain of accidents is thought to have started with a collision between just two vehicles or a small group of them. That accident quickly became the first in a chain as drivers were unable to move around the damaged, stalled cars in the roadway. WCVB reported that one crash among the many was serious enough to start a fire in a damaged vehicle.
Delays and injuries
Although police and other emergency responders were still clearing the highway and reaching the occupants of the vehicles on Friday, an initial assessment that no serious injuries or fatalities was offered by New Hampshire State Police. The Associated Press reported a few significant injuries had been reported, but none were considered life threatening. The major concern for state officials is the removal of the affected cars from the roadway, some of which are unable to be driven in their current condition, and the reopening of I-93. The northbound lanes of the highway remained completely closed at the site of the accident as responders attempted to clear the accident scene.
A serious travel problem
While New Hampshire isn't the business powerhouse that nearby states such as Massachusetts and New York are, there are still plenty of companies headquartered in the Granite State. I-93 is also a major overland route to Canada and is used by organizations in the region as a supply chain artery and for corporate travel needs. The complete shutdown of the highway demonstrates the need for businesses to remain aware of travel, weather and safety conditions in the areas around their facilities.
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