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I-70 reopens after tractor-trailer crash in Washington County

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 8:33 a.m.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tow trucks remove two of the three cars from the westbound lanes of I70 near the 519 interchange Tuesday December 24, 2013 in Eighty Four, Washington County. A double trailer semi was involved as well in the eastbound lanes shutting down I70 in both directions.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tow trucks remove two of the three cars from the westbound lanes of I70 near the 519 interchange Tuesday December 24, 2013 as a worker directs traffic in Eighty Four, Washington County. A double trailer semi was involved as well in the eastbound lanes shutting down I70 in both directions.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tow trucks remove two of the three cars from the westbound lanes of I70 as traffic is diverted near the 519 interchange Tuesday December 24, 2013 in Eighty Four, Washington County. A double trailer semi was involved as well in the eastbound lanes shutting down I70 in both directions.

A forecast for dry weather and temperatures in the 30s for the rest of the week makes a repeat of Christmas Eve traffic crashes unlikely.

A sunrise temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas will warm to the low 30s, and highs in the 20s and 30s are expected through the weekend, said Lee Hendricks, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Moon.

Forecasters expect no snow. A coating to an inch fell on Tuesday.

“River levels have dropped below 18 feet, so the good news is that the Mon Wharf will no longer be flooded,” Hendricks said.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority said the garage would reopen on Friday, following cleanup.

Wrecks and snow greeted some motorists during their morning commutes on Christmas Eve. A high of 27 at sunrise plummeted to around 20 by mid-morning.

Snow squalls caused crashes involving up to 40 vehicles on I-90 east of Cleveland, an interstate bustling with holiday travelers that links Cleveland with Erie and Buffalo, N.Y. The crashes shut down an 11-mile stretch before noon. A few people were taken to the hospital, but there were no serious injuries, police said.

“When the temperatures drop like this, people need to be prepared and expect slick conditions,” said PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan.

A 7:35 a.m. crash involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in Washington County temporarily closed traffic in both directions between southbound Interstate 79 and Exit 27.

Paramedics took one person to a hospital for evaluation, an emergency dispatcher said.

A semi hauling two UPS trailers was involved in the crash in the westbound lanes, along with several cars. A separate crash, possibly caused by rubbernecking drivers, shut down the eastbound lanes.

The UPS trailers were empty and the accident did not affect deliveries, a UPS spokeswoman said. The driver was uninjured.

Another tractor-trailer careened over a hillside off I-79 northbound near Waynesburg.

Other accidents affected traffic on Route 65 in Sewickley, Route 910 and Pearce Mill Road in Pine, and Interstate 376 Business in Moon, PennDOT reported.

Gas prices for the holiday week remain unchanged across Western Pennsylvania, according to AAA.

The price for a gallon of unleaded gas is about $3.405, above the national average of $3.258.

Average prices around the region include $3.403 in Pittsburgh, $3.450 in Greensburg and $3.375 in Washington, AAA reported.

Jason Cato is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com. The Associated Press and staff writer Margaret Harding contributed.

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