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Icy roads, hundreds of wrecks complicate Monday morning commute

A sidewalk in Northwest, D.C. under a slippery coating of ice. (WTOP/Reem Nadeem)

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of crashes occurred on icy Maryland highways early Monday as temperatures fell and puddles froze.

Light snow changed to soaking rain, tapering off by the evening Sunday but the crashes continued to pile up into the Monday morning commute.

Maryland State Police responded to 333 accidents between 9 a.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. Monday. Nearly half of the wrecks were relatively minor, resulting in only property damage.

“It certainly is more than we see on a normal Sunday evening,” said Elena Russo, spokeswoman for Maryland State Police.

The effects from the refreeze were most apparent along the Interstate 70 corridor, from Hagerstown to Baltimore. The highway was closed in numerous locations between Frederick and Ellicott City during the predawn hours early Monday.

A serious crash involving two tractor trailers closed the highway for hours near Route 32 just after 3 a.m. Two people were transported to shock trauma, according to state police.

“In talking with the troopers at the scene, [Interstate] 70 was a sheet of ice this morning,” Russo said.

Several other closures occurred at separate crashes near Route 97, Old National Pike (Maryland Route 144), and the Baltimore Beltway.

Howard County Police responded to 65 accidents after midnight. “Anecdotally, this is a higher number than usual,” Sherry Llewellyn, spokeswoman for the agency said.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Pete Piringer said there were 30 calls for collisions in a 12 hours period, most involving icy conditions, adding several roads were closed early Monday.

Anne Arundel County Fire Department said they were called to more than three dozen crashes after midnight.

The National Weather Service said that parts of Frederick and Howard counties received one to two inches of snow and sleet before precipitation changed over to rain. Over an inch of precipitation fell across parts of the region.

Fairfax County Police were called to more than 60 accidents after midnight. Virginia State Police report relatively few problems across Northern Virginia.


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