Storm delivers slippery assault in region, glazing roads
A winter storm delayed or canceled classes in many communities in central and northern Massachusetts yesterday and contributed to a crash that killed a Lawrence man in Haverhill, authorities said.
State Police confirmed that weather was a factor in a crash on Interstate 495 shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday. Eduardo Delarosa, 28, was killed when his southbound car went out of control, hit the center guardrail, and was struck by a tractor-trailer.
Authorities reported numerous accidents related to the slick roads.
The speed limit on the Massachusetts Turnpike was reduced to 40 miles per hour from the Berkshires to Route 128 in Weston during the morning commute.
Ice storm warnings remained for Massachusetts and Connecticut, and winter storm warnings were in effect in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and northern and western New York.
Massport spokesman Phil Orlandella reported no significant weather-related delays yesterday at Logan Airport.
At Portland International Jetport in Maine, flights were canceled because of poor conditions at connecting airports.
The winter storm had wreaked havoc on the Upper Midwest. For many in northern New England, however, the snowy onslaught brought elation.
"It's not snow; it's white gold," said Christopher Francis, innkeeper at Ye Olde England Inne, a 30-room inn located in the shadow of Stowe Mountain Resort.
Ski resorts had suffered through an abysmal winter last year. Meteorologists predicted up to 20 inches in some places.
Throughout the region, drivers were encouraged to take it slow, but not all did.
"The first one is the worst one," said Bob Elder, a retired police officer in Gray, Maine, who saw cars sliding off the road on his 20-mile commute to Portland. "People forget how to drive. They were all over the road. They were slipping and sliding, going too fast. It happens every year."
In Saco, Maine, a motorist died after the Jeep he was driving veered off a road, rolled down an embankment, and crashed into a pond, landing upside down. The motorist, identified as Shawn Russell, 43, died at the scene, said Deputy Chief Charles Labonte.
Driving was also treacherous in New Hampshire, which received 9 inches by midday, with more on the way.
Bill Boynton, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, said 650 state plows were out on the Granite State highways.
In Rindge, N.H., a woman who tried to save her dog and two college students who skidded off a slippery road were recovering after being rescued from icy water.
The woman, 58, fell through thin ice far from shore yesterday morning on Lake Monomonac while trying to get her dog, Fire Chief Rickard Donovan said.
She was about 400 feet from shore, Donovan said, and fell into about 7 feet of water.
Neighbor John Strauss and his teenage son, Tristan, headed toward the woman in two canoes, dragging a ladder. Rescuers in water rescue suits also reached the woman and helped her into one of the canoes, which was hauled back to shore.
The woman was in the water about 25 minutes. She was treated at a hospital for possible hypothermia, Donovan said. The rescuers also were evaluated at the scene and one was taken to the hospital, the chief said.
The dog got to shore on its own.
In the second incident, two female Franklin Pierce students, ages 18 and 19, skidded off University Drive and ended up in Pearly Pond. Donovan said the car landed on the passenger side, about 5 feet from shore, in about 3 feet of water.
Another student helped rescue the pair.
"He jumped into the water and opened up the door and helped them out and up onto the shore," the chief said.
The two young women went to the hospital, one with a head bump and the other with a possible neck injury. Their names were not available. Donovan said both injuries appeared to be minor.
In Allenstown, N.H., officials were asking for volunteers to help search for a 70-year-old hunter missing since Sunday.
Russell Bussiere was last heard from around 10:30, Fish and Game officials said. His family said he had planned to hunt until around noon.
Fish and Game officers, police, fire, volunteer searchers, and a dog team searched well into the night Sunday. About 100 people helped search all day yesterday.
Officials said last night they had found no signs of Bussiere, but added they are optimistic.
"Bussiere was dressed for the weather, in wool clothing, and he has matches. He is an experienced hunter who knows the area. Hopefully he has found shelter for the night," said Fish and Game Major Tim Acerno.