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Winter storm makes for slippery, dangerous driving

  • An accident occurred Saturday afternoon on Old Amherst Road in Sunderland, when a Chevrolet Cruze slid off the road striking a utility pole. Dec. 9, 2017. —Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline

  • An accident occurred Saturday afternoon on Old Amherst Road in Sunderland, when a Chevrolet Cruze slid off the road striking a utility pole. Dec. 9, 2017. —Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline



Recorder Staff
Saturday, December 09, 2017

SUNDERLAND — The weather outside was frightful for drivers Saturday afternoon, as slippery conditions made it easy for vehicles to get stuck or slide off the road.

“I think this’ll continue to be the norm,” Sunderland Police Officer Gerald Beltran said predicting afternoon collisions, as he waited for a tow truck to arrive for a gold-colored Chevrolet Cruze that struck a utility pole on Old Amherst Road shortly after 2 p.m. “(The driving conditions are) a bit more obvious now, so hopefully people will be a little more careful.”

The Sunderland police and fire departments, as well as South County EMS, responded to the Old Amherst Road accident, near the intersection of Silver Lane. Beltran said the vehicle, which had New Jersey license plates, had one passenger in addition to the driver. Though he declined to provide information on the nature of the injuries or identities of those involved, he said South County EMS did transport a patient to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

An Eversource representative also arrived to inspect the utility pole, which stayed intact.

Beltran stressed the importance of seatbelts, child seats and driving appropriately for the weather conditions.

“You don’t want to brake and turn (at the same time) because you slide,” he said. “Just because you have an SUV doesn’t mean you won’t.”

Glenn Field, warning coordinator meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said drivers should expect the new winter weather to impact rush hour traffic.

“There are some spin outs because it’s the first (snowstorm) of the season,” he added.

Field said Franklin County residents should expect four to six inches of snow Saturday, with snow stopping sometime after midnight.

Snow showers are expected Monday morning, Field continued, as well as more substantial snow Monday night into Tuesday afternoon. He anticipates another three to five inches of snow on Monday and Tuesday.

Reach Shelby Ashline at: sashline@recorder.com

413-772-0261 ext. 257