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Warm weather melting snow

March 15, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

The 10 to 12 inches of snow that fell across Washington County on Sunday began melting Monday under sunny skies and temperatures that climbed to 49 degrees.

Schools across the Tri-State area called off classes Monday in the wake of a storm that moved into the area early Sunday, bringing snow that fell throughout the day.

Snow had melted from most roads in Washington County by mid-afternoon, according to Hagerstown City Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Maryland State Police said state highways were in good condition.

Sunday's snowfall, the heaviest in the area this winter, was blamed for several accidents, including a 36-vehicle pileup on Interstate 70 near Clear Spring that injured 16 people.

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A tractor-trailer jackknifed on I-70 at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, sparking an accident that involved three other tractor-trailers, two buses and thirty cars.

Five people hurt in the crash remained hospitalized Monday.

At Washington County hospital, one patient was listed in critical but stable condition and three others were listed in fair condition.

An 18-month-old child was taken to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. His condition was unavailable Monday night.

Maryland State Police did not release the names of the drivers and passengers involved in the crash.

All of the vehicles involved had been cleared from the highway by Monday afternoon, according to state police.

No charges were expected to be filed in the accident, said Peter Piringer, state police public information officer.

He said accident reconstructionists were working to recreate the accident and sort out what happened.

"We understand it was near blizzard conditions and slippery driving. It was nobody's fault per se," he said.

About 200 motorists left stranded by the pileup on Interstate 70 found food and shelter at the Hancock Middle-Senior High School.

Today's weather is expected to be mostly sunny with highs in the 50s, according to the National Weather Service.

Lows are to be in the mid-30s. Forecasters say Wednesday will be mostly sunny and warmer, with highs in the mid-60s.

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