A five-vehicle crash on Interstate 79 that closed the northbound lanes between Meadville and Saegertown for about two hours appears to be the most serious incident caused by Wednesday’s storm. More than seven inches of snow fell between late Tuesday night and late Wednesday morning.

The 12:30 p.m. crash involved a new Pennsylvania State Police cruiser with only 12,000 miles on it. Trooper Daniel Grossman said the car was totaled.

The crash occurred when a tractor-trailer driver traveling too fast for the conditions sideswiped two vehicles and hit third vehicle which crashed into another vehicle. All those involved in the accident were wearing their seatbelts and only minor injuries were reported. No additional details were available as of the Tribune’s press deadline, but the section of I-79 closed wasn’t reopened until 7 p.m.

Crawford County Office of Emergency Services dispatchers were busy all morning, according to Diane Fuller, supervisor of the 911 center. “We have had a multitude of minor accidents, but no injuries,” said Fuller.

Crawford County received seven inches of snow Wednesday, according to WICU-TV 12 meteorologist Rob Wilson.

He said today’s weather won’t include snow, but instead should be a mix of sun and clouds.

John Moyer, assistant superintendent of the Meadville Office of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said Wednesday a PennDOT plow was traveling on the interstate to take a directional sign to be erected, but could not get through.

“We have been in full force since yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon,” said Moyer of the snow plows and salting trucks. “With the temperature dropping, everything is slippery,” he said.

A school bus owned by Laidlaw Transit Inc. went off the road and flipped over on Route 18 in the Conneautville area, but no students were on the bus, according to Conneaut School District Business Manager Norman Joseph Yeager. He said the bus contractor reported that the driver was not injured and the bus had minor damage.

Schools remained in session throughout the county, although PENNCREST canceled its afternoon kindergarten classes, according to Linda Mangus, secretary. She said the district kept the students from the morning kindergarten classes all day and canceled the afternoon classes.

While the county’s school districts had no major problems, many school-related activities as well as other social activities scheduled for Wednesday night were canceled because of the weather.



Jane Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at jsmith@meadvilletribune.com

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