12 Sent to Hospitals After I-270 Pileup

Black ice likely cause of crash

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Montgomery County authorities said 12 people were sent to three area hospitals after a multi-vehicle pileup before dawn on Interstate 270 in the Rockville area.

County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said the crash occurred shortly before 6 a.m. in the southbound lanes used by high-occupancy vehicles. He says 8 to 10 vehicles were involved.

Piringer said two of those injured were in serious condition, but the injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Maryland State Police are investigating the crash, but Piringer said it appears ice on the road was a factor. He said the initial accident happened on a blind curve, causing other drivers to take sudden evasive action. He said one car overturned and two ran off the road into the woods.

Prince George's Co. Crash

Two people were injured after a black truck and a school bus were involved in a crash near Bowie High School.

The black truck crashed just before 7 a.m. at routes 450 and 197.  Officials said the school bus may have slid into the accident scene after teh initial crash.

Two people in the truck were hospitalized.  A man was ejected from the vehicle and has life-threatening injuries.  A woman suffered minor injuries.

Officials Respond to Icy Criticism

The Maryland State Highway Administration issued a statement Thursday afternoon about the icy conditions on roads that morning:

"The State Highway Administration had crews out as early as 3 a.m. this morning in Montgomery, Prince George's, Frederick, Howard and Anne Arundel counties. Crews were positioned to respond to any calls for icy conditions. Icy spots were extremely widespread throughout the early morning and SHA crews responded when advised of any slick spots.

"The State Highway Administration's goal is always to keep our roads free and clear for travelers. However, especially during winter weather, conditions change rapidly and there is always the possibility of black ice, even when there is no precipitation. Something as simple as dew can create ice and although salt trucks are treating roads, as we all drive we need to keep our guard up and our speeds down. Speed limits are set for optimal conditions.

"We rely on motorists, particularly during winter weather, to choose safety for life and Take it Slow on Ice and Snow."

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