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Snow, ice create havoc on region's highways

by James Fisher

STAFF WRITER

Area police and emergency crews were busy Tuesday night as a sudden ice storm moved trough the area and made many roads slick and treacherous.

At least 10 accidents were reported in Harrison County between 8:30-10 p.m., according to dispatchers at the Harrison County Bureau of Emergency Services.

But those reports all but stopped after midnight as road crews worked to clear the snow and ice.

"They took pretty good care of the roads over night," a dispatcher said this morning. "It looks like the main arteries, Route 50, Route 19, (Interstate) 79 . . . appear to be clear."

Although the main roads were clear this morning, several area schools were closed or had delayed starting times. Harrison County Schools were on a two-hour delay this morning, mainly because of concerns about the condition of secondary roads, Superintendent Robert Kittle said.

"The secondary roads are very slick," he said.

Although no injuries were reported in any of Tuesday's accidents, at least one had traffic backed up for nearly an hour.

Jennifer Trickett, 25, of Salem, was traveling eastbound in U.S. 50 near Dog Run Road when she lost control of her truck and crossed the median, police said. Trickett's truck slammed into the upslope of the median and rolled across the westbound lanes of traffic, blocking both lanes for about an hour as emergency crews worked to move the truck out of the lanes, police said.

Trickett was uninjured in the accident and was more upset about the condition of the roads than the fact that she crashed.

"The roads are so slick, that's why I lost control," she said. "I know they treat the roads, but the DOH needs to get out here a little sooner."

In fact, DOH salt trucks were also stuck in traffic at the accident scene, but Trickett pointed out they were in the west lanes.

"Even if they had gone by, it wouldn't have done me any good," she said.

Harrison County Deputy Sheriff Greg Scolapio said inclement weather was definitely a factor and he was not going to issue any citations.

"I'm not going to add insult to injury," he said. "Everyone's having trouble on the roads right now. It doesn't appear that there was any real negligence on her part, it was just the slick roads."

Accidents were reported in Clarksburg on Haymond Highway, on U.S. 50 near Salem, on U.S. 19 near Good Hope and on U.S. 20 between Romines Mills and Nutter Fort. Emergency crews were dispatched to each scene as a precaution, the dispatcher said, but all the accidents were minor.

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