RUMFORD — The first freezing rain and sleet of the winter caught dozens of motorists off guard Monday morning, according to local police and rescue officials.
By noon, officials in Oxford and Franklin counties had responded to more than 30 accidents — most attributed to slick road conditions.
In the River Valley area, several accidents, including a jackknifed tractor-trailer on Route 2 in Dixfield kept police and emergency crews busy.
Dixfield police Chief Richard Pickett said at about 9:30 a.m., a 2006 truck jackknifed near Bill's Mill, tying up traffic for about two hours.
The driver, who was not identified, was unhurt, but the cab and box of the truck sustained between $75,000 and $80,000 damage.
Nearby in Dixfield, at least three vehicles slid off Common Road, causing no injuries and only minor damage to the vehicles.
Meanwhile, in Rumford, a woman rounding the rotary and entering Memorial Bridge at 9:05 a.m., slid into the bridge's rail, causing $1,500 damage to the bridge and about $2,000 damage to Katherine Campbell's 2004 GMC sports utility vehicle, police said. Campbell, 47, of Mexico, was unhurt in the mishap
On the Andover Road, also in Rumford, Mary Newall, 36, of Andover, was driving north when her 2000 Chevrolet sedan struck the guide wires of a utility pole, causing $5,000 damage to her vehicle. She was not injured and the pole was undamaged.
Glare ice on the Rumford Point Bridge was the cause of John White's 1993 Jeep Wrangler sliding into the bridge at 8:58 a.m. White, 44, of Woodstock, was driving north on Route 232 when he turned onto the bridge and lost control. The Jeep was destroyed but he was not hurt and the bridge was not damaged.
In Franklin County police were dispatched to 22 accidents county-wide Monday morning, dispatcher Jarrod Bilodeau said.
Eight of those involved some type of personal injury, according to Franklin County Sheriff Lt. Niles Yeaton said.
Franklin County deputies also handled one in Industry for the State Police while Oxford County's deputies also pitched in with one Franklin accident, Yeaton said.
Staff writers Donna Perry and Ann Bryant contributed to this report.