A surprise early-season snowfall dumped about three inches of snow in parts of the region Friday morning and left motorists scrambling for traction in the icy conditions.
Most of the white stuff arrived over a period of about an hour between 7 and 8 a.m., causing some havoc on the highways.
Ice, which formed under the snow after Thursday’s wet and fluctuating conditions, was the main threat for drivers. Venango County 911 dispatchers said the majority of the crashes came as a result of vehicles sliding into ditches.
The dispatcher said there were about 13 to 15 wrecks in the county, and they were concentrated within that hour-long window of snowfall.
Oil City seemed to be hit particularly hard, with at least three crashes resulting in either injuries or property destruction.
The dispatcher said one person was trapped in a vehicle between two other vehicles on West Third and Innis streets.
Two vehicles slid off the road between Fifth and Sixth streets on Central Avenue, and one of the vehicles crashed into and damaged a railing for a series of steps.
Both 911 and Franklin state police said they couldn’t comment on any possible injuries.
“We just got slammed this morning,” a Franklin trooper said.
Clarion County 911 said no calls were fielded by the center for weather-related emergencies over the course of Friday morning.