Stranded motorists dug out on Pa. Turnpike

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 23, 2016 5:33 PM

In this photo provided by Dave Saba, traffic is at a standstill on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset, Pa., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The Duquesne men's basketball team and Temple University's women's gymnastics team are stuck on the Turnpike due to treacherous weather conditions. A mammoth winter storm crawled up the U.S. East Coast on Saturday, making roads impassable, shutting down mass transit, and bringing Washington and New York City to a standstill. (Dave Saba via AP)

(Philadelphia) -- A stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in western Pennsylvania 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 between Bedford and Somerse.

"Our first priority is the safety of those human beings," Governor Tom Wolf said. "I'm not pleased when one person is inconvenienced by this and that has certainly has happened between Bedford and Somerset."

Some buses were carrying the Duquesne University men's basketball team and the Temple University gymnastics squad. 

A turnpike spokeswoman says no one is expected to spend a second night on the snow-choked highway.

Renee Colburn says front end loaders and members of the National Guard began to dig out cars and trucks this afternoon. 

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. 

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