Ice Causes Apparatus to Go Off Road in N.H.

DOVER, N.H. --

The northbound lanes on the Spaulding Turnpike between the Rochester and Dover Tolls reopened shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday after police shut down the roadway for several hours due to icy conditions.

Police said conditions on the Spaulding Turnpike got bad at about 8 a.m. The worst part was between Exits 8 and 9 in Dover, where police said 50 or more vehicles were off the road.

A female driver who went off the road crashed into a tree by Exit 3, firefighters said. The Newington Fire Department had to use the jaws of life to get her out. She was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Police said more than 100 cars slid off icy roads across southern New Hampshire on Sunday morning.

"The roads were just completely a sheet of ice, and I pulled over to the side of the road here and someone came up right behind me, slid on the road and just hit me from behind," said one driver in Dover.

Emergency crews were busy trying to keep up with all the crashes. Transportation officials closed part of Route 101 because conditions were so bad.

"Our fire apparatus went off the road. D.O.T. trucks went off the road. Even the salt trucks were going sideways, so it was a mess out here," said Dover Fire Chief Plummer.

In Salem, police said an oil truck hit another vehicle, though it was not immediately known if icy roads were to blame. One person had to be extricated from the vehicle and was taken to an area hospital with unknown injuries.

The Salem Fire Department received calls for several other crashes on Interstate 93 between exits 1 and 2 early Sunday morning, including a rollover where one person was hurt.

Several churches also canceled Sunday morning services because driving conditions were so bad.

Police were urging drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible until conditions improved. The weather was expected to warm up later in the day and turn the precipitation to rain.

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