Icy road conditions lead to crashes on Christmas day

  • The Jaffrey Rindge Memorial Ambulance slid off the road due to icy conditions while transporting a patient. Courtesy photo—

  • A view of frozen trees over Peterborough looking toward Crotched Mountain on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • An ice-covered raspberry patch in Rindge. —PHOTO COURTESY JUDY UNGER-CLARK

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/27/2021 2:35:45 PM
Modified: 12/27/2021 2:35:17 PM

Route 101 in Peterborough was closed for more than an hour on Christmas Day, as icy road conditions made travel treacherous around the region.

Peterborough Police Chief Scott Guinard said the department received nearly a dozen calls about cars off the road on Wilton Road, also known as Route 101, throughout the morning on Dec. 25. Calls started to come in the early morning hours about tree limbs down on the roadway from winds and the weight of ice, but most of those were minor road hazards that police were able to remove by hand. It was around 7 a.m., he said, that vehicles began to have trouble on the roadways.

“At 7 a.m., the roads were pretty ice-covered, and we called in the state [Department of Transportation] and local highway to treat the roads,” Guinard said.

Despite that early treatment, there were reports of between 10 and 12 vehicles that had slid off the roadway along Route 101 throughout the morning, as well as a few crashes that included damage to vehicles, though no one was seriously injured.

In quick succession on Saturday morning, crews had to respond to several crashes, including two east of Condy Road on Route 101, where icy conditions caused vehicles to slide into the guardrail.

The first, Guinard said, involved a 2018 Suburu Forester, driven by Erika Mason, 29, of Peterborough, who lost control and collided with the rail, causing rear-end damage to her vehicle. While crews were still on scene with Mason, a second crash was reported on Route 101. Timothy Lang, 43, of Peterborough, was driving west on Route 101 in a 2019 Suburu Outback when he lost control and collided with the guardrail. Traveling behind Lang, Anna Voglino, 20, of Temple, driving an 2011 International truck, also lost control and collided with Lang’s vehicle.

There was minimal damage to both vehicles, and no injuries.

Around the same time, Guinard said, the Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance was transporting a patient on Parmalee Drive, and lost control on the icy roads and slid into a stop sign.

Guinard said the roadways had mostly cleared by the midday, but conditions worsened again that night, and crews had to be called out again to retreat the roadways.

Temple-Greenville Police Chief Jim McTague said there were no crashes reported on the Temple stretch of the mountain. He said careful driving helps to avoid crashes, even on the often-treacherous slope of Temple Mountain.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, the things that cause accidents are speed and following too closely,” McTague said.

In Jaffrey, icy conditions caused a 16-year-old driver from Rindge to slide off the road, through a yard on Squantum Road and into a telephone pole before leaving the scene Friday morning.

The homeowner reported to police that the 2007 Volkswagen Jetta had crashed, leaving broken class on his driveway, and had left, driving toward downtown Jaffrey. Police located a vehicle matching the description parked at Conant High School with fresh crash damage to the rear passenger door panel and a broken window. Police made contact with a student who said he had slid off the road and hit the pole. Charges are expected to be forthcoming for conduct after an accident.

On Saturday, at 2:18 p.m., police responded to a two-car crash on Main Street involving Christopher Johnson, 59, of Jaffrey, and Frances May, 78, of Jaffrey. May had hit the trailer hitch of Johnson’s Toyota Tacoma pickup with her 2013 Chrysler Town & Country, but there was no damage or injuries.

In Rindge, road conditions caused two crashes on Christmas Day, as well as one crash in the early hours of Dec. 26, Police Chief Rachel Malynowski said.

At around 11:28 a.m., on Perkins Road, a 2006 Dodge Charger, driven by Daniel Cosman, 21, of Rindge, lost control, slid off the road, hit an embankment and entered the treeline. There was substantial damage to the vehicle, which had to be towed, but there were no injuries.

At 12:49 p.m., on East Monamanac Road, Margaret Overton, 67, of Winchendon, Mass., was driving a 2004 Toyota Camry when she slid on the ice, drifted, went into a spin and the rear end of her vehicle collided with a tree. She was traveling at low speeds at the time, and there was only minor damage to her vehicle, and she was not injured, Malynowski said.

On Sunday morning, at 4:30 a.m., icy roads led to a crash on Forestall Road involving Kelly Davis, 30, of Winchendon, Mass. Davis slid off the road and into a ditch, causing minor front-end damage to her 2020 Mazda CX5, but the vehicle was able to be driven from the scene after it was pulled back onto the road by a tow truck.

In Lyndeborough, Patrolman John Murphy said there were three vehicles reported to be off the road on Forest Road, but all three were able to extricate themselves and were gone by the time police arrived on the scene. There were no accidents reported with damage or injuries, Murphy said.

“[The roads] were bad, but people were fairly careful in Lyndeborough,” Murphy said.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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