Icy roads early Sunday morning resulted in hundreds of motor vehicle accidents and at least 3 dead, The Inquirer reported. Many of the accidents occurred on Interstate 76, Interstate 95, Interstate 476, and the Roosevelt Boulevard. Just after 7 AM, 60 cars were involved in an accident on the Schuylkill Expressway, between exit 337 and 332. Over 30 people were injured and Eric Alan Blau of Philadelphia was pronounced dead. Eleven patients were taken to Bryn Mawr Hospital, but were expected to be released from the hospital later that day. The major Schuylkill Expressway accident closed westbound lanes for 7 hours.
On I-476 in Marple Township, a tractor trailer lost control on the icy road, causing another major accident that left two people dead. I-95 northbound lanes between exit 20 and exit 22, northbound lanes between Philadelphia International Airport exit and exit 17, and southbound lanes between exit 46B and U.S. 1 all saw major, multi-car accidents. Even though the accidents were all cleared by 2PM, traffic delays persisted.
PennDOT deployed 146 trucks early Sunday morning, but Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesperson Glenn Baum admitted that it was an impossible task to uniformly salt the 11,000 miles of road affected by the icy conditions. “Where the pavement temperature is cold enough, we have areas where the precipitation hitting the pavement has resulted in the flash freeze situation we find ourselves in here in the Philadelphia area this morning,” he said Sunday.
Local hospitals prepared for an influx of patients in the ER Sunday morning by staffing more doctors and nurses. Spokeswoman Lori Shaffer of Cooper University Hospital reported a major increase in auto accident victims and pedestrians who had fallen on black ice. The heavy precipitation also caused the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings for multiple counties in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Delaware. The icy weather caused not only major motor vehicle accidents, but also flooding in small streams, underpasses, and low-lying urban areas. New Jersey State Police reported a total of 428 accidents yesterday.
The Personal Injury Lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli offer the following tips for driving in winter weather:
- Do not travel in icy conditions unless it is necessary.
- Allot extra time to reach your destination.
- Make sure your car is winterized and that you have the proper tires for winter driving.
- Keep your windows clear. Clean off all snow and ice before driving.
- Use your seat belt at all times.
- Drive slowly when road surfaces are wet or icy and also in times of poor visibility. Reduce your speed according to conditions.
- Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. On snow or ice-covered roads, you want to increase that distance even more.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly to help you keep traction and avoid skidding.
- Be very careful around plow trucks; maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the plow truck.
Remember, driving conditions can change rapidly as temperatures drop and roadways begin to freeze. Be cautious and alert at all times.
Fellerman & Ciarimboli have represented hundreds of victims of truck and car accidents. If you have been injured in an accident, call our Philadelphia office at 215-575-9237 for a free consultation.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.