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Icy roads cause slew of accident

February 24, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Icy road conditions led to dozens of vehicle accidents in the Tri-State region Sunday night.

Washington County Emergency Services reported multiple accidents beginning around 6 p.m., but only a handful involved injuries, dispatcher Scott Wolff said.

Wolff said at 9 p.m. the most serious was on Lappans Road, where rescue workers took 52 minutes to cut a woman out of her vehicle.

"When they got her out, they realized she wasn't hurt that bad," he said.

No further information on that accident was available Sunday night.

"The county had to go in and salt some roads. It was extremely hazardous," Wolff said.

In Washington County, officials closed several roads while clearing evening wrecks, and the Maryland State Police put its snow emergency plan into effect.

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Police issued the advisory at 7:45 p.m. due to ice-covered roads. The order required all vehicles traveling on snow emergency routes to have chains, snow tires or all-season radial tires, and ordered the removal of all vehicles parked along designated routes.

Westbound Interstate 70 was closed for a while Sunday night around mile-marker nine while an accident was cleared, Maryland State Police said.

Frederick County (Md.) Emergency Services reported nearly a dozen minor accidents due to icy roads Sunday night.

A dispatcher with Franklin County Emergency Services said he could not keep track of the number of ice-related accidents that flooded the center Sunday night, but he said nearly all were minor.

He said one accident around 7:15 p.m. on Olde Scotland Road did require calling Life Lion to fly a patient to a regional hospital.

Pennsylvania State Police had no information on the accident Sunday night.

At one point emergency officials closed a portion of Country Club Road in Washington Township, Pa., due to ice.

In West Virginia, the ice started forming on roads about 7 p.m. when temperatures started to drop. The ice formed anywhere water had drained from snow piles and onto roads, police and state highway crews said.

"We were on (W.Va.) 9 and you couldn't even stand up. It was just like an ice skating rink," said Todd Lutman of the Ranson (W.Va.) Police Department.

Cars were sliding off roads but the accidents did not appear to be serious, dispatchers said.

About two-thirds of the night crew at the state Division of Highways office in Berkeley County was out treating roads Sunday night, said Mark Baker, assistant supervisor.

The crews were concentrating on primary roads and were expected to switch to secondary roads later, Baker said.

"They're going to be here all night," Baker said.

A 911 dispatcher in Morgan County, W.Va., said "we are covered in ice" but said there were no major accidents.

Staff Writers Gregory T. Simmons and Dave McMillion contributed to this story.

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