- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Icy roads yesterday caused crashes across the region, including one involving about 20 vehicles on the sky ramp carrying Maryland Route 210 over the Capital Beltway.

A Prince George’s County fire and rescue spokesman said the multivehicle accident occurred at about 3:15 p.m. on the overpass east of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Two persons were taken to trauma centers, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Several accidents also were reported along the Interstate 270 corridor in Montgomery County. The conditions also closed ramps and overpasses across the region.

State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck said reports of accidents started about 15 minutes after the freezing rain arrived. He said the trouble was concentrated on highways in Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

An accident closed northbound Interstate 95 near Route 32 at about 4 p.m. Westbound Route 50 was closed at the Severn River Bridge after a tractor-trailer jackknifed.

In Northern Virginia, state police also started reporting accidents at about 3 p.m. The flyover ramp from the Capital Beltway to southbound Interstate 95 at the Mixing Bowl was closed for more than seven hours, and the backup on the Inner Loop stretched to Oxon Hill. And the ramp from northbound I-95 to go west on the Beltway toward Tysons Corner also was closed for hours.

By 7:30 p.m., traffic was getting better around Maryland, but Route 50 between the Bay Bridge and Prince George’s County was still backed up. Gridlocked traffic meant salt trucks couldn’t get onto the roads, meaning ice built up unchecked as cars idled.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” Mr. Buck said.

The winter storm brought light snow earlier in the day to the northern and western parts of the region. Then the freezing rain arrived in mid-afternoon. Icy conditions could continue into the rush hour this morning. Temperatures are supposed to rise into the high 50s later in the morning, and the rain is expected to increase.

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