1 dead, several injured in car crashes on New Year’s Eve

One person was killed and several others were injured in multiple car crashes on Taiwan's freeways and other major roadways on Friday as the three-day New Year's holiday weekend began.

A car crash between a trailer and a truck occurred at around 1 a.m. on a southbound section of Freeway No. 1 near Chiayi County, leaving the trailer's driver dead and two others slightly injured, according to the police.

The trailer spun off the freeway and rolled over down an adjacent hill, while the truck was sent careening into an opposite lane, leading to traffic jams of up to two kilometers in both directions.

There were also multiple crashes in the morning on the same freeway near Tainan and Kaohsiung, leaving two slightly injured, the police said.

On the coastal highway connecting Hualien and Taitung in eastern Taiwan, a four-car pileup occurred in the morning, leaving two with minor injuries.

Road accidents aside, holiday traffic on the nation's freeways remained "normal," according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), though several freeway sections experienced heavy traffic jams in the morning.

As of noon, freeway traffic totaled 47.5 million vehicle-kilometers (MVK), up 5 percent from the same period last year, the ministry said.

MVK is a measure of traffic flow which is determined by multiplying the number of vehicles on a traffic network by the average length of their trips measured in kilometers.

Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (???) described freeway traffic as "smooth in general," except for sporadic congestion near Hsinchu in northern Taiwan and Changhua in central Taiwan, as well as on Freeway No. 5, which connects Taipei and Yilan.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel