Sunday, January 18, 2015

49 cars in icy pileup in Howard County; eight people are sent to hospitals 

Icy roads in northern parts of Maryland caused wrecks Sunday morning, including a fatal crash in Harford County and a pile-up in Howard County involving 49 vehicles, police and highway officials said.

The Howard County wreck occurred around 7:15 a.m., along U.S. 40 just west of the Patapsco River. Eight people were taken to area hospitals for what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, said Lori Boone, a spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department.

U.S. 40 – in both directions – descends downhill as it crosses the Patapsco, said David Buck, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. “Once people started coming down, they couldn’t stop,” Buck said.

The spokesman said that Sunday morning’s weather didn’t lend itself to pretreating of roads. The freezing rain would have washed away the briny solution that is effective in treating roads prior to snowstorms, Buck said.

Most roads handled the icy rain. But particularly along some bridges and overpasses, roads got slick. Buck said there were slippery, isolated spots in Howard, Carroll, Baltimore, Harford, and Cecil counties.

In the Forest Hill area of Harford County, north of Baltimore, icy conditions along Route 23 caused a Honda CR-V to cross into oncoming traffic and strike a Honda Pilot, according to Maryland State Police. A backseat passenger in the CR-V, identified as David Winiarz, of Staten Island, N.Y., died from the crash, according to the state police.

Highway officials said that by early afternoon, rising temperatures gave rise to improved road conditions.


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