A sudden burst of snow and freezing rain swept across wide swaths of the Northeast on Tuesday, glazing roads and bridges and causing hundreds of traffic accidents. Four people were killed on the roads.

Accumulations were light in most places, but the blowing snow created blizzard-like conditions that cut visibility and made pavement slippery across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Several major Connecticut highways were closed, and traffic was snarled on nearly every major highway in Massachusetts. Some New Jersey highways were slicked with a mixture of snow and freezing rain.

“If you wanted to go somewhere, it wasn’t happening. I know. I tried. You just had to sit there,” said New Jersey State Police Lt. Al Della Fave.

Traffic backups as long as 20 miles clogged major arteries around Trenton, N.J. Wrecks closed several highways in Pennsylvania.

“I would call it a dusting,” said Pennsylvania State police Sgt. Tim Steel. “The snow accumulation was not the issue. It was the visibility and slick roadways.”

In central New York, several school districts were closed west of Syracuse, where the National Weather Service said 4 to 8 inches of snow fell. Schools were closed or had delayed openings in parts of Connecticut.

A tractor-trailer rig crossed a median south of Albany, N.Y., and killed a motorist. State police said the truck driver told them slippery pavement contributed to the wreck. Another motorist was killed near Rochester in western New York, police said.

In Connecticut, a Bridgeport man was killed when his pickup spun out of control and struck a median, state police said.

A New Jersey motorist was killed when he lost control of his vehicle on the Garden State Parkway, police said.

Blowing snow may have to blame for a chain-reaction wreck involving more than a half-dozen tractor-trailers and several cars on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania, state police said. Several people required hospital treatment.Several people required hospital treatment.

AP-ES-12-02-03 1337EST

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