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Black Ice Causes Multi-car Accident - Country Journal - 11/30/2006



Reprinted, with permission, from the Country Journal  - November 30. 2006

By Lisa Connell

Black Ice Leads to Multi-car Accident

GOSHEN – It’s black ice season again and already the season has been costly in fender bender repairs, particularly with a multiple car accident involving the fire truck on Sunday.

Fire Chief Sue Labrie reports that “Goshen fire was toned out just before 8 a.m. on Sunday morning for a single car motor vehicle accident.  We were warned to respond carefully because the roads were icy.”

“I arrived at the scene and had just parked my vehicle in the Goshen Stone driveway.  Rte. 9 from Ball Road down the Lithia hill was black ice.  The vehicle involved in the crash had spun out and was against the guardrail in the westbound breakdown lane.  Deputy Chief Rick Clark was already on the scene and was directing the arriving 56-E1 (our pumper/tanker) where to park.”

“Dustin Culver, one or our firefighters, was driving and positioned the vehicle in a blocking position for the accident scene, “ Labrie explained.  “This procedure protects the scene, patients, and emergency personnel.  The vehicle was parked across the breakdown lane, westbound lane and part of the eastbound lane at an angle.  This blocks the incident scene on the other side of the emergency vehicle from oncoming traffic.  The goal is to mitigate the impact of a secondary accident that could push vehicles into the incident scene where emergency responders are working.”

“Soon after 56-E1 was parked, and a Goshen police officer was just about to go around 56-E1 to close the road, a car traveling westbound came into view.  It was traveling quickly and lost control on the icy road.  The car tried to get by 56-E1 and almost made it, striking the front driver’s side tire hard enough to leave damage down the passenger side of their vehicle.  The car deflected off the tire and over to the side of the road, continuing another 60 feet before coming to a stop.”

“It was an intense situation,” continued Labrie.  “Firefighter Culver’s positioning of the emergency vehicle, no doubt, saved someone from serious injury or worse.  I also believe our guardian angels were working overtime.  The road remained closed for approximately an hour and reopened when a State Highway crew member salted the icy roadway.”

At the Selectboard meeting on Nov. 27, the Selectboard heard the Chief’s report as well as that of Highway Superintendent Tim Pease.  While Rte. 9 is under Mass. Highway’s purview, Pease said, “People have to realize that they have to slow down a little bit.”

(November 30, 2006)