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Accidents snarl traffic on Interstate 70

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Two accidents involving a total of five vehicles on the Speers Bridge Wednesday afternoon backed up traffic for about two hours on Interstate 70.

At about 3:14 p.m., a Ford F350 hauling a trailer rear ended an 18-wheeler on the bridge in the eastbound lane, which has been restricted to one lane because of construction.

The drivers' identities were not available, but police said neither was injured.

Three vehicles traveling behind the accident were involved in a second collision.

State police Tpr. Andre Stenson, of the Belle Vernon barracks, said a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Chris Casagrande, of Herminie, and a 1991 Honda Accord driven by Mark Gernot, of Charleroi, were stopped on the bridge because of the accident.

A 1989 Honda Civic driven by Molly Baker, of Charleroi, struck the back of Gernot's vehicle and forced it into Casagrande's car, police said.

Baker and Casagrande were not injured and Gernot's injuries were unknown, according to state police.

Charleroi, Belle Vernon and Webster fire departments, Southwest Regional Police and Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services assisted state police at the scene.

Charleroi Fire Chief Bob Whiten Jr. said rainy conditions on the bridge could have contributed to the accident.

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