SILVER CREEK, N.Y. (WIVB) - A chain reaction crash closed the westbound NYS Thruway at Exit 57A (Eden-Angola) just before rush hour began on Monday.
By 5 p.m., 15.3 miles of the thruway were congested, from Exit 55 (Ridge Road) all the way to the accident scene just a mile from the Silver Creek exit (Exit 58). The I-90 West was closed at Exit 57A as crews worked to clear the roadway.
Stacey Tilburg sent News 4 a picture from the eastbound lanes of the thruway. The Thruway Authority tells News 4 the accident involved five passenger cars and a tractor trailer. Sgt. Greg Peron of the NYS Police says the accident was caused by white out conditions and the driver of the tractor trailer was cited for following too closely.
Three people were taken to Lakeshore Hospital for minor injuries and heavy and light tow trucks were called to the scene to move vehicles. Two hours after the initial crash, crews re-opened the thruway.
Anyone who was forced to exit at Exit 57A was not charged a toll. But those pushed to Route 20 because of the closure sat in slow-moving traffic for hours.
Truck driver Pat Hicks of Minnesota said, "I've been out in this for three, four hours doing 5 MPH. I was supposed to go to PA tonight but I'm not going to PA anymore. I'm just going to sit here tonight. I'm not going to play out there for 5 MPH."
After the initial crash, a second crash on the westbound lanes closed the thruway at Exit 59 to Exit 61, right at the PA line. It took crews an hour to clean up that crash and re-open the thruway. There is no word on what caused that crash.
Bill Welchance of Tennessee said, "People don't know how to drive in it. They see a tractor trailer and they think they have to hurry up and get away from my truck. Or they slam on their brakes in front of us. They don't have enough sense to know that when you get around an 80,000-pound truck, you don't act stupid around them."
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