Heavy snowfall blankets region, leads to crash

The first major snowfall of the season made its presence known in Williamsport Saturday.

As of 3 p.m. about two inches had fallen in Williamsport, Jersey Shore, and State College, respectively. Selinsgrove had reported about 2.5 inches. Roads were slippery, but passable.

The worst of the storm, however, was still on its way.

“It’s just snowing more heavily here in State College, so it should be in Williamsport in about an hour or so,” said Dave Samuhel with Accuweather in State College at about 3:15 p.m.

And snow it did. As of 8 p.m., about six inches total had fallen in Lycoming County, according to John Dlugoenski of Accuweather in State College.

As the day went on and the snow kept piling up, area roads became more challenging for motorists.

James McVitty, 39, of Mechanicsburg, lost control of the tractor-trailer truck he was operating around 3 p.m. while heading south on Route 15 near the Foy Avenue interchange in Old Lycoming Township.

The truck, carrying granola bars and cereal, jackknifed and crashed into the median barrier causing the front axle to be torn from the rig as well as causing damage to both of the truck’s saddle tanks, each of which was filled with 125 gallons of diesel fuel, resulting in leakage, according to Deputy Chief Matt Oldt of the Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Co.

McVitty was trapped in the wreckage for a short time and was taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Sources at the scene said McVitty was conscious and talking following the accident.

Initially, both the northbound and southbound lanes between the Hepburnville exit and Foy Avenue exit were closed until the northbound lanes were reopened.

The southbound lanes remained closed for some time for crash cleanup operations.

While many people stayed home and watched through the windows as snow fell outside, others didn’t let the weather change their plans for a Saturday night out. Sandy and “Butch” Betts still were enjoying their annual dinner at Morrone’s restaurant on W. Fourth Street.

“We do dinner every year here on the last day of deer season,” said Butch, which also happens to be Sandy’s birthday.”We’re diehard,” added Sandy.

The snow tapered off around midnight, and Williamsport won’t see another snowfall like it in the immediate future. Samuhel said that Accuweather wasn’t seeing anything major in the next week.

“There’s a system coming that could bring about an inch of snow on Tuesday, but thats it,” he said. He added that the arctic front will, however, “blast in more cold air,” resulting in more low temperatures and wind chills.