Coping with the white stuff

First big snowstorm leads to close calls on roads during morning, afternoon commutes

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

  • Jaffrey residents dealt with multiple inches of snowfall on Thursday morning.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Jaffrey residents dealt with multiple inches of snowfall on Thursday morning.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Peterborough residents cope with first major snowfall of the winter<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Peterborough residents cope with first major snowfall of the winter

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Snow coats Jaffrey's downtown Friday morning following the first big snow storm of the season.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Jaffrey residents dealt with multiple inches of snowfall on Thursday morning.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Peterborough residents cope with first major snowfall of the winter<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

The popular saying “it’s better late than never” could describe this week’s post-Christmas storm. While just a dusting of snow blanketed towns in the Monadnock region for the Christmas holiday Tuesday, by Thursday evening approximately nine inches of snow had fallen. And a heavier snow that blanketed much of New England followed on Saturday.

“Almost every year it’s different,” said Lee Sawyer of Silver Ranch Airpark in Jaffrey on Friday of the winter snowfall. “At the airport we got 9 inches. By morning [Thursday] we had two inches and the rest fell during the day.”

The steady snowfall on Thursday, which caused slippery road conditions for the Monadnock region’s drivers, resulted in a number of storm-related emergency calls for folks out on the roads. A single-car crash in Jaffrey in which a vehicle flipped over onto its roof in a small stream and a two-vehicle crash involving an 18-wheeler and BMW in Bennington were among the reported accidents. Police also dealt with multiple drivers who had difficulty keeping their vehicles on the road.

Public Service of New Hampshire Spokesperson Martin Murray told the Ledger-Transcript on Friday that Thursday was a fairly quiet day for the electrical utility company.

“Our peak number of customer’s without power was about 1,900 at 7 a.m. Thursday. The vast majority of those were in Windham and Derry and were related to a vehicle accident. The remainder were smaller, weather-related outages scattered around the state,” he said, noting none of them were in the Monadnock region.

In Jaffrey, Police Chief Bill Oswalt said Thursday that at 11 a.m. that morning a 1995 Honda Accord rolled over, landing on its roof in a small stream near North Street just south of the street’s intersection with Parker Road. The car had dropped about 8-feet down an embankment, Oswalt said, but the driver, Brandyn Boynton, 17, of Jaffrey, was lucky and escaped with minor injuries.

“Two local men were following behind the car when it slid out of control as it drove north on North Street,” Oswalt said. “Although the water wasn’t terribly deep, it was fortunate for the young driver that the two men witnessing the rollover went to the car and helped the driver get out.”

The car sustained substantial damage and was towed.

At about 1:10 p.m. on Thursday, Oswalt said a resident came to the station and reported seeing a car that had apparently slid off the road at the intersection of Harkness Road and Proctor Road. Police responded to the area and found a 2004 Jeep Cherokee that had apparently slid off the road. There was no one at or near the vehicle and police are still investigating the matter, Oswalt said.

Bennington was clear of accidents on Thursday, according to Police Chief Steve Campbell, but the day following the storm saw two accidents as drivers dealt with slick road conditions.

At 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, Campbell said Dennis Ford, 56, of Marlborough was stopped on Route 202 in Bennington as he was waiting to turn into Rimes Gas Station. He was approached from behind by a vehicle driven by Dennis Ford, 21, of Rindge, who was operating an 18-wheel 2006 Foxworthy woodchip trailer belonging to Round II Timber of Fitzwilliam.

Seeing the stopped car ahead, Ford began to slow the 18-wheel truck in preparation to stop, Campbell said, but icy road conditions caused the vehicle to slip, and the 18-wheeler collided with the back of the BMW.

Neither driver, or the three passengers in Ford’s car were seriously injured in the crash, according to Campbell. One passenger from Ford’s car complained of neck pain, but was not transported to the hospital.

Both vehicles were damaged by the impact. Ford’s BMW suffered damage to the rear quarter panel and bumper on the driver’s side.

Despite being the larger vehicle, the Foxworthy truck sustained more damage, said Campbell, including a bent right side front bumper, which interfered with the truck’s front tire.

While Ford was able to drive his vehicle from the scene, the bumper damage left the 18-wheel truck undriveable until mechanical assistance arrived to bend the bumper back into it’s original position several hours later. The truck then left the scene under its own power.

The accident did not result in any lengthy traffic delays, said Campbell.

Later that morning at about 10:30 a.m., there was another accident on Francestown Road in Bennington. Rebecca Howe, 24, of Antrim was driving her 2011 Ford Taurus when she hit an icy patch while rounding a corner.

“She was going around a corner and didn’t quite make the turn, and into the ditch she went,” said Campbell.

Howe was not injured in the accident, and her car was not damaged, but it did require towing to remove it from the ditch. The car was removed by Mike’s Towing, and Howe was able to drive it from the scene.

Speed is not being considered a factor in either collision, said Campbell. “It was just the road conditions,” he said.

In Peterborough, police responded to eight calls for vehicles off the road on Thursday. The accidents were all minor and no one was hurt, according to Police Chief Scott Guinard.

Four of the incidents occurred on the Temple Mountain section of Route 101.

“The road conditions are terrible up there during storms,” Guinard said Friday. “We almost closed the road at one point.”

The first accident on the mountain was at 4:11 a.m., when a car slid off the highway and needed to be towed back onto the road. At 8:28 a.m., a tractor-trailer had to be pulled back on the road after it slid off. At 10:37 a.m., a car slid off the road but the driver was able to get it out of the snow. Another car was pulled back onto the road at 4:35 p.m.

Guinard said none of the vehicles were badly damaged.

In other incidents, the driver of a private plow truck who was clearing a driveway collided with a car on Route 123 in Sharon. The accident was reported after the fact to police. There was minor damage to the vehicles but no injuries.

Two cars went off the road on Route 202 North in Peterborough in the afternoon and one went off Route 124 in Sharon.

In Rindge and Antrim, police received a couple of calls for cars that had slid off the roadway, but none of the accidents resulted in injuries.

Dublin, New Ipswich, Lyndeborough and Wilton police reported there were no storm-related accidents in those towns.

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