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5 vehicle crashes reported on wintry day in the Alle-Kiski Valley

| Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, 9:07 a.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Workman from West Penn Power work together to remove a pole that was sheered off by a tractor trailer truck, near the intersection of Springhill and Karns Rd, in Harrison Township, Sunday, December 8, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
A tractor-trailor truck is towed from the scene near the intersectin of Springhill and Karns Rd, in Harrison Township after sliding into the guide railes and sheering off a utility pole, Sunday, December 8, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
A Westmoreland County Water Authority truck sits at the top of the hill near a water main break as water, slush and ice gather on Greenwood Road in Allegheny Township, on Sunday, December 8, 2013.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Employee's of the Westmoreland County Water Authority walk away from the orange cone that marks an area of the suspected leak on Greenwood Road in Allegheny Township. The leaking water has caused mud, slush and ice to gather on the roadway, on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

Sunday's snowfall had Alle-Kiski Valley emergency crews scrambling across treacherous roads in response to numerous incidents.

Crews responded to a number of crashes that resulted from poor driving conditions.

In Harrison, a tractor-trailer lost control and unearthed a utility pole at the intersection of Karns and Springhill roads. The truck apparently lost traction at about 2 p.m. while traveling north up Springhill Road and slid back into the pole.

The collision downed several power lines, and gasoline leaked from the truck, according to Harrison police Officer Scott Faulkner.

Faulkner, who was not on duty at the time of the incident, said police briefly shut down the intersection while fire crews cleared the area.

No one was injured, he said.

He said no power outages were reported in the area as FirstEnergy Corp. crews handled the situation. FirstEnergy officials were unavailable to answer questions regarding repairs.

No one was hospitalized from three other crashes that occurred about the same time.

An eastbound car crashed into a wall about 3:30 p.m. on Route 356. A Lower Kiski Emergency Services ambulance was dispatched to the scene with Allegheny Township police, but didn't take anyone to the hospital, according to Westmoreland County dispatch.

Allegheny Township police and Lower Kiski Emergency services officials did not return several calls.

In Tarentum, two southbound vehicles collided about 3:45 p.m. on Route 28 by the Exit 13 ramp.

Another Route 28 southbound driver flipped her car at the same time about three miles south of Kittanning. The woman managed to climb out of the car after it turned over and slid on its roof into an embankment.

Ambulances were dispatched to both scenes, but emergency coordinators said hospitalization wasn't necessary. Calls made to the respective police departments went unanswered.

It is not clear whether wintry conditions played a role in an accident in Murrysville that closed a section of Route 22 in both directions.

The multi-vehicle crash was reported about 6:45 p.m. along William Penn Highway, just west of Manor Road, an emergency dispatcher said. The highway was closed Sunday night from Harrison City Road to Manor Road as police investigated.

At least one person was reported trapped in a vehicle.

The weather affected not only traffic, but infrastructure, as well.

Jim Matta, general manager of the New Kensington Municipal Water Authority, said snow and low temperatures caused a waterline break along Greenwood Road.

The break left 10 households along the road without water for about six hours.

Matta was not on site and couldn't say whether the 30-minute leak was contributing to icy conditions on the road.

“Allegheny Township maintenance crews (were) out there with our guys,” he said, “so I highly doubt it's a dangerous situation.”

The road was never closed. Matta didn't know how much water leaked from the pipe.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh projects warmer weather on Monday with a 60 percent chance of rain.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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