An Attica woman is in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital tonight after her 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer hit a large, thick patch of compacted ice on Route 98 in Alexander and then turned sideways and slid into an oak tree.
Lorna Johnson, 53, was the lone occupant in the vehicle.
The SUV struck the tree right in the middle of the driver's side door.
Johnson was reportedly unconscious when first responders arrived on scene. It took more than 30 minutes to get her stabilized in an ambulance before she could be flown to Strong by Mercy Flight.
The patch of ice and compacted snow was at least 50 yards long and an inch or more thick, the result of blowing snow across the highway that melted on the road in the afternoon and then froze as the sun went down.
The SUV traveled off the road another 25 yards or more after leaving the iced area and struck the tree in the front yard of a residence.
The Alexander Fire Department responded, along with the Alexander ambulance, and volunteer firefighters extricated Johnson from her vehicle.
Mercy EMS, the Sheriff's Office and State Police also responded to the scene.
Speed unsafe for conditions may also have been a factor in the accident, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Kyle Krzemien and Sgt. Ron Meides are heading the investigation. Trooper Robert Breidenstein assisted at the scene.