Wintry mix causes accidents, leads to postponements
Robert Sherman collects cans and bottles on Fruit Street in Northampton during Monday' s snowstorm. He said he goes out hunting every day, "rain, sleet, snow, just like the post office." Currently homeless, he sometimes makes as much as $15 per day that he spends on discretionary items. He said he also receives food stamps and disability payments.
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Andres Patino of Northampton walks briskly up Main Street in Northampton as snow starts to fall Monday afternoon. From a distance, Patino had spotted what he thought might be his bus waiting at Pulaski Park but it turned out there was no need to hurry.
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Snow, sleet and freezing rain contributed to several fender-bender crashes Monday afternoon and evening and forced the postponement and cancellation of numerous high school games, after-school events and public meetings.
The most serious crash occurred on routes 5 and 10 in Deerfield near Old Main Street, where Emilie Cycz, 17, of Old State Road, Whately, lost control of her 1997 Pontiac Bonneville and struck a utility pole, said Police Sgt. Michael Krusiewski.
Cycz, who was removed from the vehicle using extrication tools, and passenger Brooke Matuszko, 17, of Egypt Road, Whately, were both taken by ambulance to Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, where they were expected to be treated and released, Krusiewski said.
A portion of Routes 5 and 10 was closed to traffic as the utility company made repairs, with vehicles being diverted onto Wapping Road.
Both Amherst and Northampton police officers reported few accidents, none serious.
“All of them were insignificant,” said Northampton police officer Adam Van Buskirk.
Brian Lapis, 22News meteorologist, said even though the snowfall didn’t amount to much because it mixed with sleet, driving on untreated surfaces was hazardous.
As people get ready to go to work and school today, Lapis said, the roads could remain slippery because the temperature was expected to remain below freezing.
“The primary concern for me will be the freezing drizzle and fog,” Lapis said.
But Lapis said he expects that highway crews will be able to keep up with most of the trouble spots by putting down salt and sand. Much warmer temperatures are expected by Wednesday, Lapis said.
Most high school sporting events were called off due to the forecast for treacherous driving conditions.
In Amherst, the Select Board canceled its meeting, with most of the business expected to be taken up Feb. 11. The board was scheduled to vote on adjustments to the municipal sewer rate that will go into effect July 1.
Select Board Chairwoman Stephanie O’Keeffe said her board plans a brief meeting Thursday morning at which it would vote on special liquor licenses for activities at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts and, depending on when the business plans to open, a second-hand sale license for Game Play USA at 181A University Drive.
The Hadley School Committee moved its meeting from Monday to Wednesday night, while both Pelham and Westhampton canceled their Select Board meetings.