Freezing Rain, Black Ice on Roadways Cause Hundreds of Crashes on East Coast

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After freezing rain and snow glazed roads across the Northeast, leaving as many as six dead, more misery awaited drivers Monday.

Winter storm warnings were in effect through the morning for upstate Vermont and portions of New Hampshire, Maine and western Massachusetts.

In Vermont, there could be between 3 and 7 inches of snow and 10 inches in the state’s highest elevations.

Ice storms hit parts of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania over the weekend, prompting the mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, to begin the hashtag #Icezilla.

“Still slippery, but calls are slowing down in our 911 center. #Danbury #Icezilla,” Mayor Mark Boughton tweeted.

The Hartford Courant reported that the ice contributed to more than 216 car accidents on Sunday, including a fatal crash in New Haven.

More than 400 accidents were reported Sunday amid icy road conditions in New Jersey, where a YouTube video, embedded above, showed a big rig narrowly missing a driver before it crashed through the center divider.

The motorist was blocked by two other crashed trucks on the southbound New Jersey Turnpike when the driver turned toward a loud noise from behind, according to the YouTube description. The video shows an out-of-control big rig barreling toward the driver’s vehicle, barely missing it.

The driver reported calling 911 and verifying the drivers involved were OK.

Freezing rain created black ice on roadways in the state Sunday, Gov. Chris Christie said on Twitter.  Drivers were urged to be careful and go slowly or stay home, if possible, Christie said.
Speed restrictions of 35 to 45 mph were in effect on the turnpike, the state’s main highway.

Meanwhile, the New York Fire Department fielded some 3,700 emergency calls, CNN affiliate WABC reported Monday, and the department took the unusual step of calling in help from neighboring agencies.

There was some good news for the Northeast: the ice was expected to start melting as temperatures creep upward Monday.

Pennsylvania deaths

A messy mix of ice and rain left bridges, overpasses and interstates very slick Sunday. Two people died in accidents related to black ice in the Philadelphia area, state police said.

In one of the accidents, one person was killed after getting out of a car and being hit by an oncoming vehicle, authorities said. The person got out of the car after crashing into at least 20 vehicles piled up on Interstate 76.

An additional two people were killed in a multicar crash in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, CNN affiliate KYW reported. The three cars rammed into a tractor-trailer and got stuck underneath, it said.

Maryland deaths

At least one person has died in Harford County, Maryland, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

There were dozens of crashes Sunday throughout central and northern Maryland. Most occurred in Howard, Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties.

KTLA’s Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.