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Winter storm glazes region

BY JEFF BRANSCOME / THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Sunday’s wintry mix caused several traffic accidents in the Fredericksburg area, but authorities reported no serious injuries as of nightfall.  
And even though the forecast calls for mostly rain during the day Monday,  area school officials were facing a decision about whether to cancel classes and  early-morning commuters should give themselves some extra time to get to work.
“It could be icy,” said Kevin Witt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling. He said there was a possibility of  some more freezing rain early Monday morning.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising people to delay their travel plans, if possible, to allow roads to thaw from overnight freezing. 
And the winter weather may not be over for the week. The National Weather Service says Tuesday could be a repeat of Sunday, with snow, sleet and freezing rain.
While power companies warned that the storm could knock down tree limbs and power lines, they reported no  outages in the Fredericksburg region as of nightfall Sunday. 

A stranded motorist stands near his vehicle that slid off of State Route 3 near King’s Highway in Stafford County.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain pelted the Fredericksburg region on Sunday making driving conditions difficult. Photo by REZA MARVASHTI/THE FREELANCE-STAR

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jeff Pearce said deputies had responded to 20 accidents by 1:30 p.m. Sunday. He said the accidents occurred all over, including on Interstate 95, but roads with the least amount of traffic were the worst.
“It’s very slick, and you’re getting a lot of black ice forming in little patches,” Pearce said of the less-traveled roads.
Virginia State Police had responded to a total of 23 accidents in the city of Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania and Stafford counties as of mid-afternoon, spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. Most of the incidents didn’t cause injuries.
State police had also responded to a total of seven crashes in Caroline and King George counties, she said.  
The only accident to cause an injury—which was not life-threatening—was in King George, at the intersection of Dahlgren Road and Kings Highway, Geller said. A car ran off the road and hit a pole. 
She noted in an email that there hadn’t been an “extremely high” number of crashes statewide, and most didn’t involve injuries. 
The Culpeper Sheriff’s Office reported 14 accidents, which resulted in two minor injuries.

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