Snow-related traffic accidents preview for bone-chilling cold
Snow that created perilous road conditions Tuesday is giving way to frigid temperatures, and scattered snow that won't accumulate too much.
The area prepared for another blast of frigid weather that will send the mercury below zero before a modest recovery by the weekend.
By the time Saturday's high hits the upper 20s, the Mid-Mon Valley will have experienced three days of highs in the upper teens and overnight lows in the single digits and occasionally below zero, said Lee Hendricks, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Moon Township.
Strong winds gusting up to 25 mph will create wind chill factors 15 to 20 degrees below zero.
“It's not going to get any warmer anytime soon,” Hendricks said.
The average high for January is 35 degrees, and the median temperature this month has been 35.8.
But there have been three days this month when the high has exceeded 50. In one week, the high hit 50 twice, bookending a week in which the low bottomed out below zero.
Hendricks said the region will experience scattered snow showers with no significant accumulation over the next several days.
“Basically, we're going to get nickeled and dimed to death — a tenth of an inch, a quarter of an inch, a half inch, just day after day, just enough to irritate you,” Hendricks said.
Before Tuesday's snow, the region had received 9.5 inches of snow in January. A normal January snowfall is 11.8 inches.
For the season, snowfall was 18.5 inches prior to Tuesday's blast. Normal snowfall by Jan. 21 is 15.9 inches.
Normal snowfall for a southwestern Pennsylvania winter is 43.4.
“February and March is when we normally get our lion's share of snow,” Hendricks said.
Harsh conditions led to several accidents in the Mid-Mon Valley.
A tractor-trailer plowed through a guard rail and came to rest on an embankment approximately 11:30 a.m. along Interstate 70 west in Fallowfield Township, just past the Lover exit.
Fallowfield Township fire Chief Anthony Fleming said the driver was not injured. He said state police closed the right lane until the truck could be towed away.
“The truck was down over the hill, so there really wasn't anything to clean up,” Fleming said. “We checked to make sure nothing was leaking, and we cleared the scene about 10 minutes after we arrived.”
It was not clear whether the accident was weather-related. State police at the Belle Vernon Barracks did not provide the identity of the driver or further information Tuesday evening.
A Monongahela man suffered minor injuries after he lost control of his minivan around 10:15 a.m. on Route 837 in Carroll Township.
Stephen DeRosa's vehicle slammed head-on into safety padding attached to an abutment at the Donora exit, before he spun out and plowed backwards into an embankment, according to Carroll Township police Chief Paul Brand.
DeRosa was taken via ambulance to Monongahela Valley Hospital in Carroll Township, where he was treated and released, spokeswoman Corinne Laboon said.
Carroll Township fire Chief Rob Greenlee said the front end of DeRosa's vehicle was destroyed.
The Carroll Township and Donora fire departments responded along with Donora and Carroll Township police and Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services.
“He was lucky ... that cushion did what it was supposed to do,” Brand said. “We had several other reports of vehicles stuck along the road and normal snow-related things.”
He said the township road crew was out working, “and by the end of the business day, all roads were passable.”
In Union Township, police said Nancy Pajan, 59, of 533 Monticello Drive, Delmont lost control of her vehicle 9:46 a.m. while attempting to turn into Trax Farms, spinning and colliding with a car driven by Sandra Lowe, 53, of 203 Pine Nut Drive, Eighty Four.
Lowe was transported to Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Jefferson Hills.
Lowe's condition was not available Tuesday evening.
Rostraver Township police reported that a Ford Focus operated by Tracy Stack, 47, of Mt. Lebanon slid out of control while traveling south on Route 51 near Vernon Drive.
The vehicle hit the median and flipped over, ejecting Stack.
She was transported to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh by Rostraver-West Newton EMS. Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Davis said Stack was in critical condition Tuesday evening.
Rostraver police were assisted at the scene by Rostraver Central fire personnel.
State police responded to three minor accidents on the Mon/Fayette Expressway. In two of the accidents, the vehicles were driven from the scene.
A vehicle that crashed on the expressway ramp to Route 51 in Jefferson Borough was towed from the scene. No additional information was available.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com. Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cal U students aid Fayette survey
- Man’s holiday spirit lights up Belle Vernon
- 2 charged in Charleroi drug, gun find case
- Convocation center booze battle rages on for California and Cal U
- Trials ordered for 2 charged in Monongahela mugging case
- Rostraver seeks big bucks from gas service co.
- Trio arrested by Monessen police on drug charges
- Monessen OKs 2015 budget with no tax hike
- Craft brewery opens in West Newton fire hall
- News was plentiful in pre-holiday rush of December 1957