Speed blamed as two die in A15 chaos
4 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — More than 80 cars and trucks were involved in a series of collisions in thick mist on the A15 motorway on Friday morning, resulting in two deaths and dozens of people injured.
4 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — More than 80 cars and trucks were involved in a series of collisions in thick mist on the A15 motorway on Friday morning, resulting in two deaths and dozens of people injured.
In total, 17 accidents occurred over a stretch of several kilometres and ambulances and tow trucks were riding back and forth to help clear the area of injured people and wrecked cars.
The most serious accident took place at about 10am at the Gorinchem junction near the exit to the Breda-bound lanes of the A27.
Two people were killed as four trucks, a delivery van and a passenger vehicle collided with each other, news agency ANP reported.
A second accident occurred during a traffic jam on the A15 on the Nijmegen-bound lanes as motorists slowed down to look at the scene of the fatal crash. Several vehicles hit each other in the traffic jam, resulting in two injuries.
Police partly sealed off the A15 between Rotterdam and Gorinchem and advised motorists to avoid Gorinchem altogether.
The other accidents occurred near Andelst, also on the Nijmegen-bound lanes of the A15 between the Deil and Valburg junctions.
Problems started when an estimated 20 cars collided with each other, resulting in 14 people being injured, 10 of whom were trapped in their smashed vehicles.
A spokesman for the national police service KLPD said motorists were driving too fast in thick fog and did not keep sufficient distance between themselves and other vehicles.
A series of accidents followed, resulting in three people being injured. One motorist was hit by another car when he got out of his vehicle. Other accidents also occurred on the opposite-bound lanes.
The motorway was sealed off from the Deil junction and motorists were being diverted via Utrecht. Traffic that had come to a standstill was being directed back via exit and entry ramps. Traffic jams were also being reported on the A50, A325 and A12 motorways.
The KLPD hoped to have removed all damaged cars from the A15 by 1.30pm, allowing for it to be re-opened to traffic.
Dutch motorists association ANWB had earlier warned motorists of very thick fog, reducing visibility in some places to just 50m. The mist was spread right across the country, except in the southern province of Limburg.
And further snowfalls are forecast to spread across the country throughout Friday and the ANWB is expecting a busier than normal evening peak-hour period. The mist is expected to lift throughout the course of the day.
The KLPD had earlier said the traffic situation on Friday was "remarkably untroubled". It appeared that many motorists had opted for public transport, to work from home or to take the day off and there were very few accidents on motorways and very few traffic jams.
Only the mist was causing problems. But the ANWB had also said a large number of motorists reported problems starting or unlocking their cars due to freezing temperatures.
Meteorology bureau KNMI said temperatures of minus 10 to 15 degrees Celsius were reported across the country. The coldest March temperature in 150 years was recorded in Marknesse in Flevoland, with a recording of minus 20.7 degrees.
It comes after the heaviest snowfalls in 50 years were reported across the Netherlands this week due to a low pressure system coming to a standstill above the country.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news