Icy roads blamed in rash of accidents Christmas morning

Highway and Road DisastersTransportation DisastersDisasters and AccidentsHighway and Road TransportationMaryland State PolicePatapscoPrince George's County

More than two dozen accidents Tuesday morning in the Baltimore area sent at least two people to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and closed parts of slick area highways, and the National Weather Service was predicting that Wednesday could bring second morning affected by a wintry mix.

Maryland State Police Sgt. C. Kess blamed "icy road conditions" from Christmas Eve snow, ice and rain for 28 accidents between 5:55 a.m. and 11:20 a.m.. Accidents occurred on I-70, I-95, I-83, I-795 and I-695, he said.

"We had a lot of accidents in this area," he said.

Two accidents involved overturned vehicles, Kess said. Two people were taken to the Shock Trauma Center follow at 7:47 a.m. wreck in which a vehicle apparently overturned on the I-695 ramp from the outer loop to Route 40 West, he said. The ramp was closed. About 45 minutes earlier, a vehicle had overturned on the inner loop near Edmonson Avenue, he said.

Another resulted in a temporary closure of I-95 near I-195, which is the exit for Baltimore –Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, and yet another led to a temporary closure of westbound I-70 near the Patapsco River Bridge, he said.

Of the 28 accidents that were called in to Maryland State Police, 14 were serious enough to require accident reports, another 10 were gone by the time troopers arrived or were handled by other agencies and four were not serious enough to require police reports, he said.

Portions of I-83 in Baltimore were temporarily shut, but reopened before 10:30 a.m., police said, and traffic cameras showed light traffic.

City Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kathy Chopper said Tuesday morning that workers were sanding and salting I-83 ramps as needed, and monitoring road conditions. Elsewhere, other local public works crews were out Tuesday treating roads, ramps and overpasses as well.

The State Highway Administration had deployed crews Tuesday afternoon to treat roadways. Workers were out salting the roads overnight and Tuesday morning, and would remain on-call, said spokeswoman Lora Rakowski.

Other police departments reported numerous morning accidents due to slick pavement.

Howard County police estimated they'd gotten between 40 and 50 calls between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. alone, many on bridges and many attributable to black ice.

Road closures due to accidents were reported for Route 198 westbound at I-95 in Prince George's County, where an off-ramp was closed due to a single-vehicle accident, according to highway officials.

A fog warning had been issued for Tuesday morning for parts of the Baltimore area as well.

Andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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