By A.J. ALGIER
Sun Staff Writer
Rescue personnel and firefighters from at least 10 departments responded early this afternoon to more than 20 accidents on an icy Interstate 95 between Exit 1 in Ashaway and Exit 4 in Exeter.
Just as rescue personnel tended to occupants of vehicles in one of several crashes on the slick highway, another accident occurred on another stretch of the interstate. Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire Chief Fred Stanley estimates there were between 20 and 30 crashes, beginning at about noon.
At one point during the more than two-hour ordeal, Rhode Island State Police were forced to close the highway at Exit 4 as rescue workers continued to deal with the emergency, including a rollover crash in that area. The road was reopened after the rollover scene was cleared.
The injured were transported to The Westerly Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital with injuries ranging from minor to serious. Hope Valley Ambulance Chief Fred Sherman said eight patients were taken to hospitals, four to Westerly and four to Rhode Island. Sherman said it appears that one injury is serious.
Stanley said he transported a family, including a baby, to a local restaurant to make a phone call for aid after their car was deemed a total loss. The baby was examined by ambulance personnel on the scene and was OK, said Stanley. Another person, hit by a car, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with what was described as non-life threatening injuries.
Among the companies on the scene were Hope Valley Ambulance, Richmond-Carolina Fire Department, Carolina Rescue, Ashaway Fire Department, Ashaway Rescue, Westerly Ambulance Corps, Exeter Rescue, Hi and Lo Land Rescue, Charlestown Rescue, West Greenwich Rescue and North Stonington Rescue.
The multiple scenes were cleared at about 2:15 p.m.
Meanwhile, Connecticut State Police were called to a number of accidents on Interstate 95. No serious injuries were reported in those incidents.
— A.J. ALGIER