2 accidents snarl traffic on Sunderland Bridge

  • An image of the first accident on the Sunderland Bridge. Contributed by the Sunderland Police Department. Contributed Photo

  • Emergency crews shut down the westbound lane of the Sunderland Bridge to clear two accidents Friday, Sep. 29, 2017. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—

Recorder Staff
Friday, September 29, 2017

SUNDERLAND — Two separate multi-car accidents on the Sunderland Bridge’s westbound lane during rush hour traffic Friday morning substantially delayed commuters, requiring emergency assistance from three towns and the State Police.

“Who thought they were in metro Boston traffic this morning on 116?” asked a notice on Deerfield Police Department’s Facebook page.

No one was hurt in either incident, according to Sunderland Police Chief Erik Demetropoulos.

Emergency crews at one point in the morning shut down the westbound lane entirely. Cars were backed up for miles, past Sugarloaf Frostie in Sunderland, and to Holy Family Roman Catholic Church on Sugarloaf Street in South Deerfield.

The first accident, managed by Sunderland Police Department, happened just before 8 a.m. when two vehicles collided mid-way across the bridge. Firefighters could be seen making sure no one was hurt and cleaning up the scene by 8:30 a.m.

Deerfield’s police department oversaw the response to a second four-car accident about an hour later at the same spot. The four vehicles rear-ended each other and could be seen stopped in the westbound lane. The Sunderland Police Department was on hand to help with traffic.

“MassDot is looking into traffic-light timing as a possible contributing factor,” Deerfield Police Department’s post noted. “If you are in a traffic jam please be patient, obey traffic laws, and understand we are doing everything to clear it up as fast as possible and have everyone safely on their way. We understand this is a very busy time of day for commuters and thank you for your cooperation.”

Several tow trucks were required to remove the vehicles. And in addition to police departments from Sunderland and Deerfield, Sunderland Fire Department, South County EMS, Whately Police Department, and the State Police were called in to help clear the scenes and restore traffic flow.