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Stranded motorists dug out of snow on Pennsylvania Turnpike

Posted at 4:32 PM, Jan 23, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Pittsburgh that was shut down by a snowstorm, stranding hundreds of motorists, has begun to clear.

More than 500 cars, trucks and buses got stuck Friday night. Some buses were carrying the Duquesne (doo-KAYN') University men's basketball team and the Temple University gymnastics squad.

A turnpike official says no one is expected to spend a second night on the snow-choked highway. Spokeswoman Renee Colburn says front end loaders and members of the National Guard began to dig out cars and trucks Saturday afternoon.

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Crews also are removing barriers between the eastbound and westbound lanes and allowing cars to fuel up at a turnpike maintenance shed before getting off the highway.

Traffic on the highway backed up Friday after trucks failed to climb the highway's snow-covered hills.