Icy conditions led to traffic snarls, scattered outages

Better weather is on the way.


Better weather is on the way.

The sun may even come out a little today, the temperature should rise above freezing and no precipitation of any kind should fall, according to the National Weather Service.

But, Wednesday was another story.

“It was a solid winter storm,” said Kevin Lipton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany. “It caused havoc with the morning commute,” Lipton said.

State police said the Northway in southern Saratoga County between exits 9 and 8A was a nightmare of cars off the road and minor accidents Wednesday morning as sleet and freezing rain covered the road surface.

“We had a lot of winch-outs,” said Trooper Kyle Hotter of the Wilton station about cars going off the Northway most of the day,

The adverse weather caused numerous minor accidents and might have been a factor in a fatal accident Wednesday morning in Mayfield, Fulton County.

An 89-year-old Gloversville woman was killed Wednesday morning in the two-car crash on Route 349. State police Investigator Paul Cituk said Josephine Fisher of Newman Street, was a passenger in a car driven by her husband, Richard Fisher, 85.

The Fisher vehicle was heading east about 9 a.m. when it entered the westbound lane and collided with a vehicle driven by Jennifer Romeyn, 36, of Gloversville.

Josephine Fisher was pronounced dead at the scene by Fulton County Coroner Arthur Simmons.

Richard Fisher and Romeyn were taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville for treatment of what officials said appeared to be minor injuries.

Police were still investigating the accident and did not yet have a cause of the crash Wednesday night.

Lipton of the National Weather Service said the temperature, which was above freezing Wednesday afternoon, will drop down into the 20s overnight.

Today the mercury will climb back up to the mid-30s with “some breaks of sunshine,” Lipton said.

“Friday will be a few degrees warmer,” Lipton said.

But, late Friday afternoon and early evening a cold front from the northwest will enter the region with a “quick shot” of rain and some snow. Saturday is expected to be clear and much colder, down to the single digits by Saturday night.

A fallen telephone line at Thruway Exit 23 in Albany slowed traffic coming onto the Thruway Wednesday afternoon. State police said Verizon had repaired the line by 5 p.m.

Small pockets of power outages were reported throughout the region. At one point early Wednesday evening, more than 2,000 customers were without power in the Saratoga County town of Wilton. By 8:30 p.m. this outage was down to just 60 customers. Nearly 600 National Grid customers in the town of Bethlehem were without power part of the day but should, according to National Grid, have had their power restored by 8:30 p.m.

In another less serious accident on Wednesday, four people, including a child and her father, were taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital after a van and a pickup truck collided head-on about 11:30 a.m. on state Route 145 near the intersection of Snyder Brothers Road in East Cobleskill. Police said the injuries to the father and child were not life-threatening.

Traffic was blocked in both directions for about an hour along Route 145 about a mile south of Interstate 88 exit 22 while Cobleskill and Central Bridge fire and rescue crews removed the victims from the wreckage.

A woman was pinned behind the wheel of the minivan for about a half hour, while rescuers worked to stabilize her and peel back the wreckage. Her injuries turned out to be less serious than first thought, police said. The names of the injured were not released Wednesday.

Preliminary reports indicated that the minivan was headed south on Route 145 when it went into the opposite lane and crashed head-on into the pickup. It was raining and road conditions were wet and slushy, but not icy at the time, police said.

Schenectady police were called to accidents on Broadway hill Wednesday evening because of the icy conditions. Crane Street and State Street were also slippery, according to police department spokesman Kevin Green.

No serious injuries were reported. In Colonie, one person was transported to Albany Medical Center following an accident at about 8 p.m. on Troy-Schenectady Road in front of the Verdoy Fire Department. Police said a car sideswiped a plow truck. The driver, whose name was not available, had to be extricated.

Categories: Schenectady County

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