Squalls lead to highway pileups on I-79

| Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 12:15 p.m.

Snow squalls contributed to chain-reaction crashes on Interstate 79 in Washington and Erie counties on Thursday, state police said.

Three people suffered moderate to serious injuries in North Strabane and were transported to a hospital. A utility truck that was unable to stop hit a tractor-trailer and a Ford Fusion near mile marker 42 at 11:46 a.m. in the northbound lane, causing the chain reaction. State police said 12 vehicles were involved.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes were closed as crews cleared the road. PennDOT said the southbound lanes were cleared about 12:50 p.m. and the northbound lanes about 2 p.m.

As many as 30 vehicles were involved in the accident in McKean, Erie County, state police said. The crashes occurred in the southbound lanes at 9:15 a.m.

No serious injuries were reported. The road reopened at 12:15 p.m., state police said.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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