- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Winter is only a few weeks old, but already many Washington area public schools have used up their snow days.
The snowfall Sunday caused officials to close seven public school systems for the day yesterday, mostly in Maryland. In some systems, it was the last of the budgeted snow days, meaning classes might be conducted on holidays or later in the spring.
Maryland and Virginia require schools to operate 180 days each school year.
Arlington County has exceeded its snow-day limit and will make up one day by conducting classes Presidents Day, the third Monday of February.
Fairfax students will go to school Jan. 30, which was to be a teachers work day.
Montgomery County's closure Monday was the last of four budgeted snow days. Spokesman Brian Porter said any more snow closures would cause the school year to be extended beyond June 18 or reduce the spring break in April.
Prince George's County students have already used three excess snow days and will continue classes through June 20, instead of beginning vacation June 17.
Like several other systems, D.C. public schools began two hours late yesterday. Spokeswoman Rachel Christoferson said that three snow days have been used, and that four are budgeted. Summer vacation is scheduled to begin June 20.
In Maryland, schools in Baltimore city and Carroll and Harford counties were closed yesterday and have used all snow days. Anne Arundel and Howard counties have one more snow day; Baltimore County has three days; and Cecil County has four.
Loudoun County schools started the year earlier than most. Schools will close June 13 as scheduled unless snow causes 14 days of closures.
The snow yesterday caused much less disruption than the unexpected blanketing Sunday.
Four inches of snow piled up in Baltimore city and Baltimore County. The most on Sunday, 5 inches, was measured in Frederick, Md., and Rockville.
Police in Maryland and Virginia scrambled Sunday to handle hundreds of road and highway accidents. The most destructive was a 35-vehicle pileup on the Baltimore Beltway near Essex. Ambulances took 27 persons to hospitals. The most serious injury was a broken leg.
Montgomery County Police accident-reconstruction investigators continued studying a two-vehicle crash Sunday morning that killed two women, and injured one woman and five children.
Killed were Vivian Byrd, 46, of the unit block of Federal Court in Gaithersburg, driver of a 2001 Plymouth Neon; and her front-seat passenger, Tracy Clark, 36, of the 2900 block of Magee Way in Olney.
The Neon was going east on Norbeck Road when it collided at Norwood Road with a northbound 2002 Toyota minivan driven by Chon Ok, 52, of the 3400 block of Forsythia Lane in Burtonsville.
The intersection was wet from snow, but it was not certain whether that contributed to the accident. Some witnesses told police that the Toyota was running a red light, police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said.
Police investigators will turn information over to the State's Attorney's Office to decide whether charges will be filed.
Chon Ok and a 4-year-old boy were treated and released from Laurel Regional Hospital.
An 11-year-old girl from the Neon was taken to Children's Hospital in the District for treatment of abdominal injuries. A 16-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl were treated and released from Montgomery General and Suburban hospitals.
In Washington County, Md., Andrea Gantt, 19, of Shippensburg, Pa., died after her car slid off a road and crashed into a tree.
Perhaps the most unusual accident was in Braddock Heights, in Frederick County, Md., where a fire engine slid down a steep slope and rolled over, injuring three firefighters and critically injuring John Main, 44, of Middleton, who had left his car to help another motorist at the bottom of the slope.
The snow at airports Sunday caused some late departures and arrivals, some while ground crews cleared runways. Airports' spokesmen said cancellations and some departures were caused by inclement weather at destinations instead of locally.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport closed both major runways for 90 minutes Sunday night while crews cleared airport service roads that intersected the runways, spokeswoman Tracy Newman said.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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