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Accidents wreak havoc on Wednesday commute

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By Arin McKenna

Accidents on eastbound N.M. 502 and northbound N.M. 4 brought rush hour traffic to a standstill Wednesday afternoon.

N.M. 502 traffic was backed up nearly to 15th Street. Northbound traffic on N.M. 4 was stopped beyond White Rock. Commuters faced delays of 40 minutes to more than an hour.

During the 5–6 p.m. peak, it took a half hour to move from 15th Street to DP Road.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, officers on the scene had not finalized their investigations, but Cpl. Doug Ehler of the Los Alamos Police Department provided preliminary reports, but rain-slick streets may have been a contributing factor.

The first accident occurred at 3:52 p.m. on eastbound N.N. 502 near the Totavi Gas Station. Preliminary reports indicate that a driver lost control of his or her vehicle and hit another car, blocking the shoulder and one lane of traffic. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department handled the case and details were not available at press time.

The N.M. 4 accident occurred at 5:04 p.m. Preliminary reports indicate it was a rear-end accident attributed to the backup from the first accident.

Traffic also was backed up on the truck route. It took about an hour to get from the TA-3 bus stop to the Totavi Gas Station, according to passengers.

The delay forced some passengers to miss their connection to the Rail Runner, forcing them to wait another hour for the last train southbound.

No injuries were reported with either accident.

Both accidents were cleared at approximately 5:30 p.m.

 By nearly 6 p.m. reports indicated that the worst of the backups had eased and traffic was moving at near normal speeds.  

Carol A. Clark contributed to this report.