October 21, 2021

Weather causes 40-car pile-up on Interstate 81

Four injured as whiteout causes series of accidents

Stock image of winter roads

Dozens of cars were involved in a series of collisions Saturday afternoon on Interstate 81 in Homer during a snow storm, leading to traffic being backed up for hours, emergency officials said.
All lanes of traffic were closed about 12:58 p.m. between Exit 12 in Homer and Exit 14 in Tully, reports the state Department of Transportation.

Preble Fire Chief Nicholas Casterline said whiteout conditions lead to multiple accidents and vehicles off the road — one of 30 to 40 cars north of Exit 13 and another of several vehicles south of Exit 13.

State police, Cortland County sheriff’s officers, Tully and Lafayette fire departments responded, as did ambulances from Tully, Syracuse, Lafayette, Marathon and Dryden and TLC Ambulance of Cortland, said Homer Fire Chief Mahlon Irish.

At least four people were taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, Casterline said.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until midnight, reports the National Weather Service in Binghamton as lake effect was expected to drop 1 to 3 inches of snow, and as much as 5 to 8 inches in some portions of Cortland County.