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Wintry Mix Challenging For Road Crews & Drivers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- For those whose job it is to make sure the roads are clear, dealing with Tuesday morning's conditions was a bit challenging.

"This is where the experience comes in. These guys who've been driving for 25, 30 years. I always say it's an art form, not a science because you have to know how to apply and when, how much, when to plow and when not to plow," PennDOT's Bob Skrak said.

What precipitation you saw depended on where you were.

On Monday night, icy conditions in Monroeville led to a car sliding off the road and into a creek. According to officials at the scene, the car lost control making a sharp turn, hit a guardrail and went over a hillside and into the creek.

KDKA's Christine D'Antonio Reports:

Two people had to be rescued from the car. Officials say they suffered only minor injuries.

In Stanton Heights, the slick conditions led to a car sliding into a pole, bringing down some utility wires onto the road.

It happened around 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday in the 4800-block of Stanton Avenue.

The driver suffered minor injuries, but the crash broke the utility pole and brought down some high-tension wires.

KDKA's Rick Dayton Reports:

In Evans City, drivers got hit with snow around midnight.

On the Parkway North, rain and freezing rain proved tricky for a driver who slid off the roadway around 1 a.m.

In Cranberry Township, ice on Route 228 forced several drivers to reduce their speed. It was a morning where a lot of people just lost control.

Dozens of crashes were reported Monday night around Allegheny County and Westmoreland County due to the falling snow and rain.

KDKA's Ross Guidotti Reports:

In Westmoreland County, the further east you headed on Route 30, the more the visibility dropped. Ice was on overhead wires and it was also under tires.

Earl Aukerman and his flatbed wrecker have been very busy since midnight.

"Over [embankments], in ditches, whatever," said Aukerman. "The main excuse from people was mainly the ice, lots of black ice."

"I think all together from midnight last night to this morning, we've towed in 12 or 15 vehicles," said Patsy Mignogna, of Mignogna Collision Repair.

After seeing so many wrecks today due to the icy conditions, Aukerman has some advice for driving in winter.

"All they gotta do is slow up a little bit, and don't be in a hurry to pass somebody," he says.

Paul Hrubochak spent a whopping 3 hours in the car to get from Indiana to Wexford.

"It was rain when I left and it turned to snow on my way here. It got colder. Temperature in my truck said 35 when I left the house. It's 28 now," he said. "I wish I would've just stayed home today."

Some who left the house after the rain, ice and snow mash up seemed satisfied.

"It wasn't bad at all. Just coming from my house because I live on a back road, but other than that, I follow a salt truck and it was a smooth drive here," Rachel King said.

KDKA's John Shumway Reports:

As midday arrived and the snow tapered away to an overcast afternoon, the road crews were in tidy up mode and trying to make sure wet surfaces did not have a chance to refreeze.

"We're going to keep plowing, salting, treating the road with anti-skid," said Skrak.

Near New Castle on Tuesday afternoon, a snow plow slid off the roadway. KDKA's Marty Griffin reports it happened near Mile Marker 23.1 on toll road 376.

(Photo Credit: Marty Griffin/KDKA)

The rains caused some flooding in areas to the south.

According to PennDOT, the following roads were closed as of 3:30 p.m.:

Greene County
• Route 1019 (Green Valley Rd) both directions between Route 21 and Groves Rd in Cumberland Twp.
• Route 2017 (Carmichaels Rd/Muddy Creek Rd) both directions at the intersection of Route 21.
• Route 18 in both directions between West Run Road and Iams Station Road in Morris Twp.
• Route 18 in both directions between High St. and Water Dam Rd in Franklin Twp.-OPEN
• Route 3009 (Toms Run Rd) both directions between Oak Forest Rd and the West Virginia Line in Wayne Twp.-OPEN
• Route 2026 (Rolling Meadows Rd) westbound between Route 21 (Roy E. Furman Hwy) in Jefferson Twp. and Big Dog Rd in Franklin Twp.-OPEN
• Route 2003 (Big Shannon Run Rd/Big Shannon Rd/Buckeye Rd/Patterson Run Rd/Kirby Rd lane restriction northbound Between Buckeye Rd and Wades Run Rd in Perry Twp.

Washington County
• State Route 2019 (Vanceville Road / Almond Road / Wherry Road) in both directions between Main Street and in Ellsworth Twp. and Wherry Road in Somerset Twp.
• State Route 2020 (Hackney Station Rd/Ten Mile Rd/Main St/Plumsock Rd) in both directions between Hufford Run Rd in Amwell Twp. and Little Creek Rd. in West Bethlehem Twp.
• State Route 2047 (Little Creek Rd) in both directions between Highland Ridge Rd in West Bethlehem Twp. and Fisher Hollow Rd in Amwell Twp.
• Route 221 both directions between Crestmont Rd and Knight Lane in South Franklin Twp.

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