On Monday, March 28th, a snow squall caused a massive pile-up on Interstate-81. The incident occurred around 10:30 AM and caused about 50 vehicles to pile up in the middle of the road.
The police reported at least three deaths the next day and dozens of injuries. A combination of car fires and intense traffic made it difficult for authorities to reach the wreckage. The highway remained jammed for almost a day.
The crash was captured on camera by a person standing on the side of the road. It shows tractor-trailers ramming into cars in the pile-up, and people running from their cars to the woods on the side of the highway for safety. Visibility was the main cause of the crash, as seen in the video linked at the bottom of the article. The snow blinded oncoming traffic causing them to brake too late and skid into the cars. In the video, you can see people standing on the side of the highway still in shock. Authorities transported over 30 people to the hospital following the pile-up.
The fires following the crash contributed to the severity of the pile-up. “I couldn’t see anything, I was just hearing banging around me. Then I heard a really loud boom. That’s when black smoke came up from the tanker truck that blew up, that’s when I knew it was really bad,” said Lillie Weaver of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The fire department was able to control the fires after a couple of hours.
This is the second crash on the PA interstate caused by a snow squall, one being in Schuylkill County, involving 50 cars and five injured.