Traffic alert: More than 20 vehicles crash on NYS Thruway near Utica due to near whiteout conditions

Utica, N.Y. — Part of the Thruway temporarily closed Sunday after more than 20 vehicles crashed as snow squalls in the area caused near whiteout conditions, authorities said.

Oneida County 911 dispatchers said they started receiving calls reporting multiple crashes on the Thruway around 1:30 p.m.

About an hour later, the Utica Fire Department posted on its Facebook page that Interstate 90 East was closed between Exit 31 in Utica and Exit 32 in Westmoreland due to multiple crashes “involving more than 20 vehicles.”

Crashes were reported in both the eastbound and westbound lanes, according to 511NY. None of the crashes appear to be serious, according to state police.

At 4:30 p.m. — three hours after the crashes began — state police asked drivers to continue to avoid the area.

“State police and tow truck operators are working to clear a number of separate property damage motor vehicle crashes on the New York Thruway in both directions between Exits 31 and 32 in Oneida County,” state police said in a news release. “Snow squalls in the area have resulted in near whiteout conditions and poor visibility.”

The Thruway is back open, but there will continue to be sporadic lane closures and travel delays throughout the early evening Sunday as crews work to remove the crashed vehicles, troopers said.

“Please travel safely and be mindful of the weather conditions,” the Utica Fire Department wrote in its post.

Do you have photos from the crashes Sunday on the Thruway? If so, email them to [email protected]

Have a tip or a story idea? Contact Catie O’Toole: [email protected] | text/call 315-470-2134 | Twitter | Facebook

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