The icy conditions that kept schools from opening on time Monday morning plagued drivers on Harford County roads overnight Sunday, when several accidents were reported.
More hazardous conditions could be coming on Wednesday morning because of sub-freezing temperatures and overnight snow, sleet, and rain, according to the National Weather Service.
Four Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies and a Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company ambulance were among those involved in crashes caused by icy conditions between Sunday night and early Monday morning, police and fire officials said.
d numerous other crashes and icy conditions were reported across the county.
“There was significant icing once the temperatures dropped Sunday night. It continued into Monday morning through rush hour,” Jenn Chenworth, a spokesperson for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, said.
Harford County Public Schools opened two hours late Monday as the rain that fell on Harford roads throughout most of Sunday froze overnight. It was the fourth time schools opened late this school year because of unsafe weather conditions. Schools also have closed early twice and have closed three full days.
More ice and snow could affect Wednesday’s start of school, with a winter weather advisory in effect from 3 to 10 a.m. Mixed precipitation is expected, with a coating of sleet with a trace amount of ice from freezing rain, according to the National Weather Service.
“We continue to see icy spots throughout the county. We urge everyone to slow down, take their time and be cautious while walking and driving,” Chenworth said. “Tonight’s [Tuesday] weather looks like we will be taking another replay of Sunday and everyone should use their best judgment in the morning. If you can delay your day then that may be best tomorrow morning. The highways departments have diligently been treating roads and assisting public safety as needed.”
Two accidents involving emergency vehicles — one ambulance, one deputy patrol car — were reported just before 11 p.m. Sunday.
An ambulance from Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company was involved in a crash at 10:52 p.m. on Route 22 at Redfield Road, with icy conditions reported, according to Harford Fire Blog.
At the same time, Harford County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class Justin Haga had responded to the area of North Tollgate Road and Sunset Drive for the report of a crash.
Haga saw the area was icy and activated his emergency lights to warn approaching vehicles, according to Kyle Andersen, public information specialist for the Sheriff’s Office.
Haga parked his vehicle behind a tow truck that was loading a vehicle involved in the earlier collision, to provide protection to the driver of the tow truck. At that time, Haga observed another vehicle, a 2008 Honda Civic operated by Margaret Keele, 21 of Bel Air, as it slid on the ice and struck the rear of Haga’s patrol car, Andersen said.
No one in the other vehicle reported injury at the time of the incident. Haga took himself to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air for treatment of minor injuries, Andersen said.
Around 11:15 p.m. Sunday, DFC Shane Fraser was traveling west on Route 22 in the area of Tredmore Road when a 2006 Chevrolet 2500, driven by Daniel Thayer, 29 of North East, that was traveling east on Route 22 lost control because of the icy road, crossed the median and hit Fraser’s patrol vehicle, Andersen said.
Fraser was trapped in his vehicle until the fire company arrived. He was taken to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. The driver of the other vehicle did not report any injuries at the time of the crash, Andersen said.
At about 2:30 a.m. Monday, Cpl. Bradford Sives was traveling north on Grafton Shop Road near Osborne Parkway in Forest Hill when he began to slide on ice, Andersen said. Sives tried to regain control of his vehicle and came to rest against an embankment on the southbound side of Grafton Shop Road.
Approximately 10 minutes later, DFC James Norman was traveling north along the same roadway, responding to Sives’ collision, when his vehicle began to slide on the icy roadway. Norman’s patrol car collided with the curb on the northbound side of the roadway, Andersen said.
Neither deputy reported injuries at the time of the crashes.