First thing Monday morning, the Department of Transportation held a meeting to discuss the deadly crash that killed one teenager and involved a total of 36 cars. They looked at road and weather conditions, and they doubt that much could have been done to stop the deadly gust of wind from creating a whiteout.
In the shadow of such extensive wreckage, it's only natural to ask if it could have been avoided? Among officials, the cause is widely accepted. Captain Michael Cerretto of the New York State Police says "high winds blowing across the open area of the airport created whiteout conditions." Lori Maher from the State DOT says, "Everything we're looking at so far points to those crazy curveballs that Mother Nature often throws towards us."
And like in big league-baseball, everyone knew this curveball could come at any moment. "That's where it gets tricky, that area is prone to blowing and drifting." says Cerretto. "When you have an open area next to it, depending on the crosswinds, it could happen depending on the weather," says Maher. Therefore, the curveball was imminent. But authorities say catching it was nearly impossible. The easy question is, why not a wall, to block the snow? Almost impossible, the DOT says.
"In this case, a snow fence might have slowed it down a little, but it would still create those white out conditions."
If a snow fence couldn't stop it, why not close that stretch of road when conditions could lead to a whiteout? They take every precaution, the DOT says, but in this case, the whiteout was so sudden, there was little time to react.
"Yesterday, it was clear, and sunny, and the roads were clear, and then all of a sudden a gust of wind came up and blew the snow across from that large airport area." says Maher. The DOT says it's look into the crash is ongoing.
The airport says they're open to trying anything to improve safety, and says they'll work with the DOT to see if anything can be done.