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Snow makes for slick roadways in region

December 08, 2006

The first snow of the season caused havoc for motorists Thursday as slick roads led to fender-benders, including an accident involving a Maryland State Police vehicle.

No major injuries were reported.

Maryland State Police Trooper Lee Cain said a rash of accidents on Md. 68 forced officials to close the road.

"It just got to the point that there were so many accidents that we had to shut it down so State Highway could get up there and salt it properly," Cain said.

Cain said Interstate 68 was closed at the Interstate 70 split sometime after 9 p.m. and would reopen once it was salted.

In Morgan County, W.Va., a 911 dispatcher reported eight accidents related to the weather. West Virginia State Police said most involved people driving off the roadways.

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Emergency dispatchers in Berkeley County, W.Va., and Franklin County, Pa., said they were kept busy with minor accidents.

Fulton County, Pa., had a series of calls for accidents, but a dispatcher there said none were reported with serious injuries.

The Maryland State Police said a trooper who had responded to a vehicle disabled by the weather drove into a road sign after his 2006 Ford Crown Victoria slid off the road on Interstate 68 east of Woodmont Road. The vehicle was towed after the 9:05 p.m. crash, the police said in a press release.

Dave Shrader, supervisor of traffic and safety for the Washington County Highway Department, said crews took to the roads about 8 p.m. Most roads were clear by about 10 p.m., but Shrader said workers still were checking trouble spots, such as bridges and hills.

Emergency services dispatchers reported accidents throughout the county.

A Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer showed no measurable snowfall as of 10:45 p.m. Wind chills dipped into the single digits.

Winter officially starts at 7:22 p.m. Dec. 21, www.i4weather.net shows.

Staff writers Karen Hanna and Jennifer Fitch contributed to this story.

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