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Tree topples onto southbound I-81, 'impaling' windshield of minivan

January 30, 2008

High winds toppled a large dead tree this morning into the slow lane and part of the fast lane of southbound Interstate 81 west of Hagerstown just before dawn today, its limbs "impaling the windshield" of a Pennsylvania woman's minivan.

Cpl. Mike Fluharty of the Maryland State Police said the woman was taken to Washington County Hospital with minor injuries after the 7:10 a.m. incident just south of the U.S. 40 interchange.

"The tree was blown over," Fluharty said. The driver of the minivan was apparently unable to see the tree until it was too late since it was still dark at the time.

Other motorists then drove over the limbs of the tree but there were no other injuries, Fluharty said.

State Highway Administration employees were on the scene and pushed the tree from the road with heavy equipment. The slow lane was still blocked by debris and the highway equipment at 7:40 a.m.

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Southbound traffic was moving slowly around the incident scene in the fast lane and shoulder.

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