PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Black ice created hazardous road conditions during the Wednesday morning rush hour all across the area, especially in Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
By 6:30 a.m., emergency dispatchers in Allegheny County were reporting at least 10 accidents caused by black ice out on the roadways.
Some of those places included Saw Mill Run Boulevard at Crane Avenue, Noblestown Road at Idlewood Avenue in Scott Township and Butler Street near Baker Street in Lawrenceville.
In Morningside, three cars were involved in an early morning accident in the 6800-block between the Highland Park and 62nd Street Bridges. One person was injured. And traffic on the Highland Park Bridge at Route 28 was slow going for most of the morning.
In Hampton Township, a salt truck made the rounds along Route 8 after a crash there.
Over in Penn Hills, a car lost control on a patch of black ice and ended up crashing into a creek along Lime Hollow Road, near Coal Hollow.
The driver of the car didn’t want to be identified, but shared her story of how she ended up in a creek.
“I turned the steering wheel because it didn’t do anything, ’cause I was sliding on ice, so the car just took its own direction and I landed in the creek,” she said.
She called 911 and says first responders where there in less than 10 minutes, tying a rope around her car and pulling her from the ravine.
“I’m scared; I’m hollering for somebody. There was a school bus parked on the other side of the creek and I don’t know if he could see me, but I was just screaming, ‘Help me, help me. Somebody help me,'” she said.
In Baldwin, black ice caused a car to crash into an occupied home in the 5600-block of Curry Road. No injuries were reported, but, according to a firefighter on scene, a couple and their young child were inside. The man and baby were sitting on the couch and the woman was still asleep when it happened.
The car first crashed into the family’s vehicle, pushing it down the street, and then ended up in the home. No injuries were reported, but the house sustained significant damage in the front.
In Westmoreland County, the driver of a garbage truck had to be cut out of the vehicle and taken to the hospital after it hit black ice on Route 30 in Latrobe. The impact turned the garbage truck over, trapping that driver inside. Traffic was shut down for a good portion of the morning commute.
The road conditions also prompted many schools to call two-hour delays. Check out the full list here.
Despite the air temperatures being above freezing, the clear skies and the ground still being relatively cold caused the black ice to develop.
“Winds have calmed down, that’s allowing for anything that’s run off of those roads to sit down for a while. We’ve cleared out with our skies, radiational cooling allowing us to see those temperatures really falling quickly at the surface, and we’ve also had a very cold air mass in place over the last couple of days,” said KDKA Meteorologist Ron Smiley. “You put all that together, temperatures at the surface still just below that freezing mark and that means that especially things like brick or concrete out there is going to be just below the freezing mark. That means black ice will be possible.”
Drivers were urged to use extra caution this morning and allow for plenty of extra time.