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Icy mix keeps road crews, police busy

January 20, 2001

Icy mix keeps road crews, police busy



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


The sleet and snow that fell throughout the Tri-State area Saturday put road crews to work, triggered snow emergency plans and led to traffic accidents and hazardous river conditions.

The Maryland State Highway Administration put snow emergency plans in effect for Washington and Frederick counties at 5:30 p.m., an SHA spokesman said.

Snow tires or chains are required when the plan is in effect, he said.

Washington County roads were snow-covered and "pretty slick" by Saturday evening, and road crews were putting a salt mixture down at intersections and on hills and curbs, said Ted Wolford, director of the county Highway Department.

City of Hagerstown street crews salted city roads Saturday morning and were adding more salt and plowing the slushy city streets throughout the day, said Delbert Horst, traffic control supervisor for the Public Works Department.

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The sleet that started falling in the early afternoon turned to a mix of ice and snow by about 3 p.m., and Washington County emergency dispatchers saw a "spur of activity" between 4 and 5 p.m., county dispatcher Marshall Maravelis said.

A car driven by Marvin Fraley, 21, of Sandy Hook, slid off snow-covered Lappans Road near Saint James and struck a mailbox and telephone pole at about 4:20 p.m., the Washington County Sheriff's Department said.

Fraley was charged with failure to control speed, police said. He was still in the emergency room at Washington County Hospital Saturday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Emergency crews were also dispatched to an accident on Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road at 4:46 p.m., and an accident on Leitersburg Pike near the Pennsylvania State Line at 5:11 p.m., a county dispatcher said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department responded to those accident scenes, but did not provide further information about the accidents Saturday night.

Two people were hurt in one of several Saturday morning accidents on icy roads in Jefferson County, West Virginia State Police said.

William Auer, 79, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., was eastbound on W.Va. 9 about 8:30 a.m. when his station wagon was struck head-on by a car driven by Acia Weller, 19, also of Harpers Ferry, police said.

Auer was admitted to the hospital in good condition and Weller was treated and released.

Weller was charged with failure to keep right of center and driving too fast for conditions, police said.

An Allentown, Pa., man also lost control of his vehicle early Saturday on snow-covered Interstate 70 west of Hancock, Pennsylvania State Police in McConnellsburg said.

Jason Pudleiner, 20, lost control of his Chevrolet Blazer while passing another truck, police said. The Blazer struck an embankment, rolled over the guardrail and came to rest in the median.

Pudleiner and a passenger, Jason McFadden, 21, of Pittsburgh, Pa., were wearing seat belts and suffered only minor injuries, police said.

Due to recent precipitation, boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts should avoid the Upper Potomac River at least until Tuesday, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

River levels are especially hazardous at the main stem of the river at Frederick, Md.

Up to 6 inches of snow was expected throughout the Tri-State area, Meteorologist Chris Strong of the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said Saturday evening.

Today will be partly sunny, windy and cold, with a high temperature of about 33 degrees, Strong said. No additional snow was forecast

Staff Writer Laura Ernde contributed to this story.

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