Weekend snow causes hundreds of crashes, calls to police as area roads become treacherous

Authorities all over the area are urging caution from drivers, as they receive hundreds of calls for service and crashes from slick and icy roads.

Maryland State Police says they responded to over 1,000 calls for service so far during this winter storm.

Maryland State Police are urging motorists to use caution, especially on icy, snow covered roads. Officials say there were 264 crashes throughout the state.

Additionally, police and road crews urge drivers to clear snow from their vehicles. Roads will be dangerous throughout the night as temperatures get colder.

Officials say drivers should go slowly if you have to be on the roads and give yourself enough time to get to your destination. Some courtesy should also be allowed for snow plows and road crews.

Motorists are reminded to move over a lane while road crews work in a shoulder or traffic lane to treat roads or help disabled cars.

"The main message is don't crowd the plow. Leave as much room as possible between your vehicle and the plow. We recommend maybe 50 feet. The safest place you can be is behind a plow, they're clearing the road for you. Think of it like a red carpet and let them do their work and just stay behind them," said Shantee Felix with Maryland State Highway Administration.

In Virginia, Loudoun County police helped the drivers of over 40 disabled vehicles on Sunday.

Virginia State Police responded to over 320 crashes and almost 200 disabled or stuck vehicles since midnight Saturday.

Culpeper area troopers responded to 40 traffic crashes and 30 disabled vehicles and Fairfax Division officers responded to 68 traffic crashes and 81 disabled vehicles.

There was one storm-related fatal crash in Virginia, after one person died in a three-car collision in Pulaski County (south of Blacksburg) on Interstate 81 just before 9 p.m. Saturday.

Police say a military surplus vehicle (1991 Oshkosh M1074) was traveling south on I-81 when its driver lost control due to the slick road conditions. The vehicle was then struck by two southbound tractor-trailers.

The impact of the crash caused one of the tractor-trailers to run off left side of the highway, continue through the median, through the guardrail, cross over northbound lanes of I-81 and strike a fence, police say.

The driver of the M1074, 73-year-old Ronald W. Harris, of Gainesville, Ga., did not survive the crash and died at the scene.