EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 16, 2013

Police: 'Roads are miserable'

Local and state police, fire and rescue crews responding to dozens of crashes and spinouts all over Merrimack Valley

A snowstorm hit the region as forecast this morning, dropping a couple inches of snow by the time the morning commute started, leading to accidents too numerous to count.

Accidents and spinouts began hitting the region around 5 a.m., and haven't let up since.

Local and state police and fire departments are under siege from 911-callers, including school bus drivers, who are getting stuck "anywhere there's an incline," as one Andover police officer said over the scanner.

The number of accidents is so high that even Coady's towing in Methuen was running out of tow trucks.

"We've got stuff everywhere," said Frank Coady. "The problem is people are driving too fast. It all came at once."

In Andover, a police cruiser crashed near Salem Street while responding to a 911 call from a motorist.

"We have multiple, multiple cars off roads," said Andover Police Lt. Guy. "It's out of control right now."

He said people were sliding off the roads everywhere, but that there were no serious injuries reported.

"It's mostly minor motor-vehicle damage," he said.

One of the first accidents reported in Andover was in front of the IRS on Lowell Street/133 when a transit bus and a car collided. There were no injuries reported. Around 7 a.m. a spinout was reported on South Main Street, but after that, calls for crashes came in fast and furious.

Lt. Guy said the Department of Public Works had a "full complement" of sanders and plows out but that they just couldn't keep pace with the conditions.

In Haverhill, two cars reportedly slammed into utility poles at different locations. In one case, at Corliss Hill Road, the pole landed on top of the car. In the other case, wires were down, blocking the roadway. A car was reported in a ditch on the Ward Hill Connector near the ramp to 495.

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