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Freezing Rain, Snow Causes Dangerous Driving Conditions

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ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Freezing rain and snow caused deadly conditions on roads across the Tri-State area.

New Jersey State Police say they responded to hundreds of crashes Friday morning because of icy roads. Police said in one case, a fire truck spun out of control and hit four vehicles.

As CBS 2′s Dick Brennan reported, a giant pileup on a bridge between Point Pleasant and Brick turned tragic.

“We had a least one car, possibly two lose control on icy conditions on top of the bridge, which subsequently led to a chain reaction accident involving a total of 12 cars,” Brick Police Chief Nils Bergquist said.

Police say at one point a 76-year-old woman whose car had been hit got out of her vehicle to see what happened.

“She was struck by another car and unfortunaltey, her injuries were fatal,” Bergquist said.

In Pine Hill in Camden County, a car lost control on an icy roadway and slammed into an NJ TRANSIT bus, killing the car’s driver and seriously injuring a passenger.

Seventeen people on the bus were hospitalized with various injuries.

Medical centers all around the region were dealing with victims of the storm.

There were eight multi-car accidents on the Palisades Parkway near the George Washington Bridge, police said. Three people were hurt.

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Because of the icy conditions, the parkway was closed for a time in both directions north of the bridge in New Jersey and in New York at exit 5.

New Jersey State Police reported more than 250 accidents statewide between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., WCBS 880′s Levon Putney reported.

In Ocean Township, police responded to a crash at the intersection of Roseld Avenue and Monmouth Road where a vehicle had flipped on its side. No word if anyone was hurt. Police said black ice was being reported throughout the town.

The icy weather is also causing problems in Toms River, where the Community Medical Center said their emergency room is filled with patients who were hurt from either slipping on the street or from car accidents.

In addition, the speed limit was reduced on the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike because of the freezing rain.

In Yonkers, the Saw Mill Parkway was reopened after being shut down due to black ice.

On Long Island, both the Suffolk County Police Department and the Nassau County Police Department have issued traffic advisories urging motorists to use caution on the roads.

Police said drivers should slow down and leave plenty of room between vehicles.

Emergency responders were fielding numerous accident reports all morning.

“This was an out of the ordinary event, it wasn’t a predicted storm,” John Jordan, Deputy Commissioner of Suffolk Fire Rescue, told 1010 WINS. “About 10:30 a.m., we started to get a spike in volume, so to speak, an increase in the request for ambulances due to falls on the ice and motor vehicle accidents.”

Icy roads caused accidents in Selden, N.Y. on Jan. 10, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

Icy roads caused accidents in Selden, N.Y. on Jan. 10, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

In Selden, the fire department says 11 people were taken to area hospitals. Four of those sustained injuries from falls on the ice, authorities said.

Driving along the West Side Highway around 5 p.m., Brennan reported the roadway was wet but not icy. The temperature read 33 degrees.

But outside the city, the temperatures may drop below freezing, potentially causing black ice Friday night.

NJ TRANSIT has also reported problems on the rails. Ice patrol inspections in the Hudson River tunnels caused delays for Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and Midtown Direct trains.

The National Weather Service has extended a freezing rain advisory until temperatures warm above freezing.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)