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December 24, 2013

Snow squall sends vehicles sliding

PITTSBURGH — A furious snow squall that dumped up to an inch of snow late Christmas Eve morning and lasted a couple of hours turned roadways treacherous without warning.

Johnstown and Dale Borough police were called to investigate several accidents that took place almost simultaneously on the Route 56 Bypass.

Johnstown police Officer Erin Kabler said the temperature dropped several degrees quickly, turning the entire bypass to ice.

“We had to close the Route 56 Bypass until we could get PennDOT there to clear the roadway and put the salt down,” he said.

PennDOT responded very quickly, arriving within several minutes, he said.

“We just had to keep the bypass closed until we could get all the vehicles that were wrecked off the highway,” Kabler said.

Two accidents with injuries occurred in the northern part of the Cambria County and fender-benders elsewhere in the county, a Cambria 911 operator said.

In Somerset County, slippery conditions on Route 281 near Lake Road outside Somerset Borough appeared to be the biggest problem, a Somerset 911 operator said. PennDOT was called to treat the roadway.

Otherwise, there were some minor accidents, including one on Route 56 in the Windber area, 911 said.

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