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Squalls lead to highway pileups on I-79

Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Keith Hodan  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Keith Hodan  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - One of the cars involved shows severe front-end damage as crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Keith Hodan  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>One of the cars involved shows severe front-end damage as crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Keith Hodan  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Crews clean up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred on I-79 North in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Minutes after an accident in the southbound lanes of I-79, North Strabane firefighters check the condition of a young child and the parents. Their white vehicle collided with a box truck as crews were cleaning up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred in the northbound lanes on I-79 in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Keith Hodan  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Minutes after an accident in the southbound lanes of I-79, North Strabane firefighters check the condition of a young child and the parents. Their white vehicle collided with a box truck as crews were cleaning up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred in the northbound lanes on I-79 in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review - Minutes after an accident in the southbound lanes of I-79, North Strabane firefighters are on the scene. A mother begins to place her child back in their vehicle after making sure the child was alright. Their white vehicle collided with a box truck as crews were cleaning up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred in the northbound lanes on I-79 in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Keith Hodan  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Minutes after an accident in the southbound lanes of I-79, North Strabane firefighters are on the scene. A mother begins to place her child back in their vehicle after making sure the child was alright. Their white vehicle collided with a box truck as crews were cleaning up after a multi-vehicle accident occurred in the northbound lanes on I-79 in North Strabane, Washington County, Thursday, February 27, 2014.
AP - Four people were hurt following a 25-car chain-reaction crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 79 between the McKean and Edinboro exits in Franklin Township, Pa., beginning at about 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. None of the injuries were serious and authorities had the road open by about 11 a.m. According to witnesses, the accident was caused by heavy snow squalls that limited visibility. (AP Photo/Erie Times-News, Christopher Millette) MAGS OUT, TV OUT
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Four people were hurt following a 25-car chain-reaction crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 79 between the McKean and Edinboro exits in Franklin Township, Pa., beginning at about 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. None of the injuries were serious and authorities had the road open by about 11 a.m. According to witnesses, the accident was caused by heavy snow squalls that limited visibility.  (AP Photo/Erie Times-News, Christopher Millette) MAGS OUT, TV OUT

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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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