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Slippery slide makes Monday driving tough

MANCHESTER — Slick road conditions made for tense commuting Monday as vehicles wound up sliding off the road or into other cars, causing several traffic backups.

Roads had a thin coating of snow in the morning, leading to several cars veering off Interstate 93 before even getting out of Manchester.

Warmer temperatures caused melting in the afternoon, but the road surfaces froze again in time for the evening commute in much of the state, said Lt. John Encarnacao of the New Hampshire State Police.

"The conditions change so quickly, it's almost a flash freeze. As soon as that temperature dropped, the ice froze up quickly," Encarnacao said. "Once they do start to drop, you really need to pay attention and slow down."

Encarnacao said a state trooper's cruiser was one of the vehicles damaged in Monday's many accidents. He said the trooper was stopped on Interstate 393 westbound Monday evening for another accident. The cruiser's lights were on as the trooper tried to clear the scene before the other car rear-ended the cruiser, Encarnacao said.

Encarnacao estimated at least a dozen vehicles were involved in multi-car accidents or had slidden off the road on Monday.

"Usually the first storm of the year sneaks up on people. I think this one fooled lot of people because there wasn't lot of snow," he said. "There were just a lot of accidents out there. There was no main, major accident involving serious personal injuries.

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