2009-01-01 / Front Page

Icy Conditions Lead To Many Car Accidents

State police respond to accidents across the county Dec. 24
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Making a last-minute trip to the grocery store in preparation for Christmas lunch or heading to the mall for gift-giving purchases on December 24 proved to be too much for multiple motorists who found themselves slipping and sliding off Fulton County's ice-covered roadways.

Pennsylvania State Police at the McConnellsburg barracks responded to numerous accidents throughout the morning and early afternoon hours last Wednesday in connection with the freezing rain that plagued much of the county. Trooper Brett J. Massafra was one of several troopers on duty to investigate the accidents that ranged from Timber Ridge Road to Interstate 70.

Trooper Massafra reported to the "News" at 9:38 a.m. Wells Tannery resident Charles Eugene Cook lost control of his northbound vehicle, which struck a utility pole near the intersection of Great Cove Road and Meadow Lane. Cook, 70, was transported to Fulton County Medical Center for treatment of injuries following the crash in Todd Township.

Monroeville, Pa., resident Ashley Nicole Hassell, according to Trooper Massafra, also had trouble with the icy roadway conditions while traveling along Interstate 70 at 11:05 a.m. Hassell's eastbound vehicle slid into a guiderail and crossed both eastbound lanes, where it was then struck by a commercialgrade tractor-trailer. The tractor trailer continued heading eastbound without stopping, Trooper Massafra added.

Both Hassell, 23, and passenger Craig Stephen Smith II, 25, of University Heights, Ohio, were wearing seat belts when the crash occurred near mile marker 162.5.

Trooper Massafra related 26- year-old McConnellsburg resident Brenda Israel Strait lost control of her northbound vehicle along the 6200 block of Timber Ridge Road at 11:38 a.m. The vehicle went onto the western berm, where it collided with a tree and overturned.

Strait and her passengers, a 14-year-old Needmore girl and a 1-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy, both from McConnellsburg, were transported to Fulton County Medical Center for treatment immediately following the Thompson Township crash.

Trooper Massafra indicated in his report both the 1- and 4- year-olds were secured in child safety seats, but Strait and the teen were not using seat belts.

Meanwhile, Trooper Clifford Greenfield responded to a 12:08 p.m. accident near the Fulton/ Bedford County border in East Providence Township. An eastbound 2004 Chevrolet Silverado driven by 53-year-old Carl D. Souders ran off Route 30 and struck an embankment. The truck overturned and came to a final rest on its roof, partially blocking the westbound lane.

Souders, of Wells Tannery, was wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries. He was transported via Breezewood Volunteer Fire Co. to UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital.

State police were assisted during the series of accidents by the Tinman Body Shop, Breezewood and McConnellsburg volunteer fire companies.

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