ICE-SAR was busy until late into the evening on Hellisheiði pass this past Sunday. Severe weather left several people trapped in their cars after a significant traffic accident, which reportedly involved up to ten vehicles.
Hellisheiði is the mountainous pass between South Iceland and the Reykjanes peninsula and can present travellers with very difficult conditions during the winter.
Of the individuals involved in the traffic accident, several were transported to the emergency room in Reykjavík, though none were reported as seriously injured. In addition to assisting potentially injured drivers and removing damaged cars from the road, ICE-SAR was also busy evacuating individuals from their vehicles and bringing them back to town.
According to a representative from ICE-SAR, approximately 150 people were assisted yesterday.
Members of ICE-SAR from throughout the region were present, including from Selfoss, Hveragerði, Reykjavík, and Þorlákshöfn.
Hellisheiði pass was closed for much of yesterday due to the weather, but is currently open at the time of writing. Travellers are advised to check conditions and heed weather warnings when driving in Iceland.
This winter has been noteworthy for the number of weather warnings issued. While 2020 saw the most weather warnings in total issued, the winter of 2022 saw a record number of orange and red warnings. In total, 84 of these extreme weather warnings were issued.