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Holiday travel 'terrible,' state police say

November 30, 2008

Crashes, wet weather, congestion and carelessness made for a dismal travel experience on local interstates Sunday night as motorists completed their Thanksgiving holiday travel.

When asked how things were going at 5:30 p.m., Maryland State Police Sgt. K.D. Scheer said "terrible."

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is always a tough travel experience but "this one seems pretty bad," Scheer said.

Congestion on Interstates 81 and 70 in Washington County was bad, Scheer said.

State police handled 12 accidents in an hour's time when Scheer gave an update at 5:30 p.m.

I-81 traffic in Berkeley County, W.Va., was heavy but caused no major problems as of early Sunday evening, West Virginia State Police Sgt. Craig Morton said.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper E. Stasko said he personally encountered troublesome driving conditions on Sunday. He said he ended up stuck in gridlock for three hours in Breezewood, Pa., in part due to high volumes of traffic and traffic lights malfunctioning nearby.

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An above-average number of minor accidents were reported to the Fulton County, Pa., barracks of the state police, Stasko said. U.S. 30 around Sideling Hill, which is near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, was especially icy, he said.

The trooper recommended that motorists pay special attention to other vehicles' brake lights, signaling sudden stopping.

"Be cautious and know your surroundings," Stasko said.

-- Dave McMillion and Jennifer Fitch

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