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January 11, 2014

Dozens of crashes hobble I-93 commute in N.H.

Highway officials say drivers going too fast for conditions

New Hampshire officials yesterday blamed a difficult morning commute on drivers traveling too fast for conditions.

“We are seeing a general lack of attention to reducing speed,” said New Hampshire State Police Lt. Chris Wagner, commander of Troop B that patrols Interstate 93 south of Manchester.

“It’s ugly,” Wagner said, assessing the situation.

Troopers were inundated with calls to accidents. Wagner said there were dozens, though none serious. He expected the crashes would tie up troopers throughout the day.

About a half-dozen vehicles had pulled over around Exit 5 south in North Londonderry just after 7:30 a.m.

“In many cases, drivers are going too fast for the conditions with light snow and some snow cover on the road,” said New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman William Boynton.

Traffic at times came to a halt because of the crashes.

Pete Langlois posted on Facebook that his commute from Derry to Medford took three hours.

Nick Zaharias had a long ride, too, because of the commuting problems.

“Over two hours from Derry to Lawrence. Yikes,” Zaharias posted on Facebook.

Just after 9:30 yesterday morning, a tractor trailer traveling south on I-93 near Exit 8 in Manchester struck a tree in the highway median.

N.H. State Police said Donald Sye of Harrisburg, Pa., was driving too fast for road conditions and lost control of the 2009 International.

The crash closed the two left lanes of I-93 south while the jackknifed trailer was removed. Sye received minor injuries, police said.

Wagner said there are a lot more accidents this season than he can recall in many other winters.

In December alone, there were 161 crashes in Troop B. Wagner didn’t have historical figures, but acknowledged that’s a lot for the troop.

“It’s absolutely high,” he said.

Wagner admitted troopers are discouraged with the lack of attention and concern they are seeing from drivers.

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