20-vehicle pileup shut down portions of I-81

Multi-car crashes have shut down a portion of I-81 in Tully.

Interstate 81 was closed in both directions after a pileup involving as many as 20 vehicles south of Syracuse.

State police say the accidents occurred during a lake-effect snow storm Friday morning in the Onondaga County town of Tully, on the Cortland County line 10 miles south of Syracuse.

The first crash was reported at 10:35 a.m. on I-81 north at Exit 14 in Tully. I-81 southbound opened at Exit 14 in Tully around 2:15 p.m.

A second accident was reported at 10:45 a.m. on I-81 south at Exit 15 in LaFayette. I-81 southbound opened at exit 15 near LaFayette, according to the NYSDOT, around 1:00 p.m.

According to State Police spokesperson Jack Keller, Onondaga County Sheriffâ??s handled the incidents in the southbound lanes. The incidents involved 8 vehicles; 4 tractor-trailers and 4 cars. Two drivers suffered minor injuries.

In the northbound lanes, handled by state police, there were 5 vehicles involved including 2 tractor-trailers and 3 cars.

There were several other instances where cars spun off the road. There were no injuries reported in the northbound collisions.

Todd James, a truck driver from Hamilton, Ontario, was involved in the accidents in the northbound lanes. He says it was caused by a driver in a car who was driving to fast. He says he encountered whiteout conditions and advises people to slow down.

Lake-effect snow and high winds have been hitting Central New York since Thursday, with more than 20 inches of snow reported in some areas north of Syracuse.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report)