An 88-year-old Woodbridge woman died in one of 40 crashes in New Haven Sunday morning amid treacherous, icy conditions.
Elizabeth Mohr, 88, of Woodbridge, died after she lost control of her 2001 Ford Taurus just beyond Howe Street on North Frontage Road and struck a utility pole on the right side of the road, police said. Police responded to the road at 7:58 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls.
Nurses from Yale-New Haven Hospital happened to be nearby and rushed to help Mohr, but they were unable to save her life.
North Frontage Road closed for several hours near Howe and Dwight streets as an accident reconstruction team investigated.
Freezing rain early Sunday morning glazed the roads with a sheet of ice. New Haven police responded to at least 40 accidents and 75 percent of the people involved in them sustained minor injuries.
“Just because rain is falling doesn’t mean that there’s not also ice on the road," New Haven Police Officer David Hartman, department spokesman, said.
It will likely take awhile for the accident reconstruction team to determine a definitive cause, but video surveillance in the area showed that the icy, wet roads played a role.
“There’s pretty good surveillance footage from cameras obtained near the scene that shows the car losing control," Hartman said.
While it is unknown how fast Mohr was driving, police said the car was likely going too fast considering road conditions based on the serious damage to the car.
"Even driving the speed limit on wet, icy or snow covered surfaces is dangerous", Officer Steve Manware, a department crash investigator, said in a statement. "We are sometimes deceived into thinking when rain is falling it is too warm for ice to stay on the ground. That is often not the case and people need to take care."
North Frontage Road is expected to remain closed until 2 p.m. in the area.