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Slick roads catch drivers by surprise

February 23, 2012

Members of the Central Fire Department and Jefferson County EMS extricate Melinda S. Himes from her 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier following a one-vehicle accident at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday on Bells-Cloe Road. Himes was flown from the Punxsutawney Municipal Airport via LifeFlight to Altoona for treatment of her injuries. (Photo by Larry McGuire)

BELL TOWNSHIP — A Punxsutawney woman was flown by emergency medical helicopter to an area trauma center following a one-vehicle accident that occurred at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday on Bells-Cloe Road, Bell Township, along with a rash of other accidents due to icy road conditions.

According to Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police, a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Melinda S. Himes, 38, Punxsutawney, was traveling east along Bells-Cloe Road on a downhill grade and negotiating a curve to the left when she lost control of her vehicle on the icy road and slid sideways into a guardrail at a bridge over Jackson Run stream.

According to police, Himes’ vehicle rotated 180 degrees off the guardrail and over an embankment into Jackson Run.

Police said Himes suffered serious head and neck injuries and had to be extricated from her vehicle by members of the Central Fire Department.

According to police, Himes was transported to the Punxsutawney Municipal Airport by Jefferson County EMS, from which she was flown to Altoona Regional Medical Center via LifeFlight.

Police said Himes’ vehicle was removed from the stream by South Side Service.

There were also other accidents that occurred Wednesday morning due to icy road conditions:

• A female juvenile from Rossiter suffered minor injuries in a one-vehicle accident that occurred at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on Route 36 south of Mill Road, Gaskill Township.

According to police, a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by a 17-year-old female juvenile from Rossiter was traveling north on Route 36 when she lost control of her vehicle after having driven over an icy patch on the road.

Police said the juvenile’s vehicle then crossed through the southbound lane and struck an embankment with the front portion of her vehicle, which caused it to overturn. The vehicle rolled about three times and came to rest on its roof, partially blocking the southbound lane facing west.

According to police, the driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital via Jefferson County EMS.

Police said the girl’s vehicle sustained disabling damage and was towed from the scene by Walker’s Towing.

Members of the Big Run Area Volunteer Fire Company assisted at the scene.

• A Big Run man escaped injury when he lost control of his vehicle on black ice at 6:55 a.m. Wednesday on Route 119, Henderson Township, police said.

According to police, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Miles E. Hanna, 30, Big Run, was traveling on wet roads and drove over a patch of black ice and spun into the southbound lane embankment and rolled over.

Police said Hanna was not injured, and his vehicle was towed from the scene.

Police were assisted at the scene by the Big Run Area Volunteer Fire Company.

• A Mahaffey man suffered minor injuries when his vehicle drove over an icy patch at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, Burnside Township. police said.

According to police, a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado driven by Travis D. Clapsaddle, 23, Mahaffey, was traveling south on Route 219. Clapsaddle lost control after driving over an icy patch on the road and crossed over into northbound lane, striking the guardrails with the front portion of his vehicle.

Police said Clapsaddle’s vehicle was towed off the road by a private vehicle, and he was transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital by private vehicle for treatment.

Clapsaddle’s vehicle was towed from the scene by Smitty’s Towing.

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