State police respond to more than 150 crashes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State police respond to more than 150 crashes

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Troopers are out in full force on Connecticut state roads and highways. (CT State Police) Troopers are out in full force on Connecticut state roads and highways. (CT State Police)
State police are out helping with DOT crews. (CT State Police Twitter) State police are out helping with DOT crews. (CT State Police Twitter)

Connecticut State Police and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy advised drivers to stay off the roads especially along the shoreline on Saturday.

Between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., there were almost 150 accidents, according to state police. 

Earlier in the day on the southbound side of Interstate 91 near exit 22 area, state police said there was multiple spin outs and Department of Transportation as well troopers were en route to those crashes. 

Malloy advised residents to stay off the roads because of worsen conditions. The governor said that there was "big differences" in the driving conditions across Connecticut throughout the day. 

AAA released a study by UConn Crash Data, the information shows at least 18 people have died on wet winter roads and more than 800 have been injured in winter crashes since 2010.  The study also states that fatal crashes are higher during the first snowfall of the year. 

“There’s a good chance most roads will be snow covered for days. Plan accordingly," AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter said in a release on Saturday. 

As of 5 p.m., AAA officials said their crews had responded to more than 700 calls for emergency service. Earlier in the day, the majority of the calls were along the shoreline. 

"In the last hour or two there has been a spike in the number of emergency roadside calls from the Storrs/UConn area, including a number of drivers whose vehicles slid off the road and had to be recovered with a tow," Parmenter said. 

Eyewitness News spotted several tractor-trailer drivers pulling off the highway and into rest stops for the evening.

"I made an executive decision to shut it down. I've been driving trucks for ten years," truck driver Anthony Smith said. "I think its the right move, right now."

Many told Eyewitness News they can hardly see the roads. They said they will be sleeping in their rigs until Sunday morning when the roads will hopefully be better cleared and they will be able to see where they are going.

"It's really dangerous in this kind of weather," truck driver Chris Dickerson, who was headed to Philadelphia, said. "I had one accident in the snow in the mountains. Good thing, there were no fatalities, but the truck jack knifed."

There were several tractor-trailers at the rest stops, many were waiting to hit the road on Sunday morning. 

As of Saturday afternoon, there were 672 plow trucks from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and private contractors. The governor said they are particularly focused on the Fairfield County and shoreline areas and the "I-95 corridor is still the most difficult area to travel."

AAA urged drivers to stay off the roads, "so cleanup crews can do their job as quickly and safely as possible."  

State Police advised drivers to take precautions if they were heading out on Saturday. 

The winter did not stop some people. In their big truck, Middletown resident Paul Barbagallo and his wife, Sylvana, drove around and went out for dinner despite the snow.

"The restaurant we went to was pretty full. One of the few ones that was open,"  Paul Barbagallo said. "In fact, they were open. It's New England, can't let snow stop us."

However, many people observed the warnings by state police and the governor. 

"I think it's going to take you some time to get home," East Haven resident Steven Lahn. He said he had to drive just about everywhere and couldn't wait to call it a day. 

Besides checking your battery and wiper equipment, drivers should place a winter emergency kit in their motor vehicles. The kit should have the following items: 

  • a shovel
  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight
  • battery powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • water, snack food
  • matches
  • extra hats, socks and mittens, blanket (s)
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt and sand
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares, fluorescent distress flag

To check traffic conditions in your area, click here

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