By ANNIE BUI
Motorists were caught off guard by a snowstorm — which led to a large number of minor vehicle accidents on and off campus — Monday morning, according to Lt. Thomas Basher, public information officer for the Ithaca Fire Department.
“[We saw] upwards of 15 to 20 separate incidents [Monday morning],” Basher said. “We didn’t have anything major, but from 7 to 9 a.m., we were busy all over the place.”
Dave Honan, deputy chief of the Cornell University Police Department, also said CUPD was “very busy” dealing with routine calls and motor vehicle crashes during the snowstorm.
“We responded to three separate motor vehicle crashes on campus,” he said. “Fortunately, none of the vehicle occupants were injured. Of these crashes, two were weather related and the third was a car [versus] deer crash.”
According to Honan, the first weather-related accident on campus occurred at approximately 8 a.m. at Hasbrouck Apartments, where a plow struck a parked vehicle. No injuries were reported, he said.
The other weather-related campus accident that occurred during the snowfall was a two-car crash around 9 a.m. on the 800 block of Stewart Ave. The vehicles’ occupants were evaluated by emergency responders and declined transport to the hospital, according to Honan.“We responded to three separate motor vehicle crashes on campus … two were weather related.” — Dave Honan
Honan said he was not able to provide an exact cause for the accidents because the reports are still being processed.
He added that CUPD also assisted other local police agencies with two separate crashes.
“One of these crashes was on State Street, and it involved multiple vehicles,” Honan said.
Basher said Monday’s storm came within a short period of time, which he says left motorists with little time to prepare accordingly.
“We went out on a call at 3 a.m. [Monday], and there was no snow. … When I got up at 5 a.m., there was a lot of snow — about an inch,” Basher said. “The roads got really cold and greasy — people were slipping and sliding everywhere.”