Blizzard Causes Accident, Closes Route 113

BERLIN – Wednesday’s blizzard and associated white-out conditions caused a multi-vehicle pile-up on Route 113 just south of Berlin, sending five unidentified victims to the hospital.

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, during the latest severe winter storm with white-out conditions, a domino-effect pile-up occurred on southbound Route 113 just south of Berlin.

According to Worcester County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Ed Schreier, blinding conditions on the highway caused a first vehicle to slow to a stop, followed by a second vehicle that came up from behind it. A tractor-trailer then arrived behind the first two vehicles, but could not stop to avoid a collision, according to Schreier.

“Due to white-out conditions, the tractor-trailer could not stop and plowed into the two vehicles that had slowed or stopped,” he said. “The truck then jack-knifed and overturned, blocking the entire roadway.”

While that portion of the accident came to a rest, it triggered a serious of other collisions behind the initial incident. A vehicle approaching the accident scene slowed down to a stop and was hit from behind by another vehicle, which was struck from behind by a third. A second tractor-trailer then came upon the accident and slowed to a stop before being struck from behind by two more vehicles.

A total of nine vehicles were involved in the massive pile-up from start to finish. Five individuals were taken to the hospital, each with non-life threatening injuries, although two were listed in serious condition. The identities of those injured in the multi-vehicle collision have not been made public pending the outcome of the investigation.

The accident closed Route 113 in both directions as police, fire and emergency services got the injured individuals out of the wreckage and transported them to the hospital. No less than a dozen two trucks responded to the scene to help remove the vehicles involved from the roadway.

Traffic backed up in a single lane on southbound Route 113 behind the accident from Harrison Rd. practically back to Berlin as cars stood stopped for at least an hour and a half as conditions steadily deteriorated. Finally, State Highway Administration (SHA) officials told the stopped vehicles to make a U-turn and return north in the southbound lanes back in the direction of Berlin.

At least one witness attempting to head south on Route 113 to her home on the eastern shore of Virginia had to be re-routed through Salisbury, making her trip home in the blizzard about three hours compared to the normal 45 minutes.