Cleanup Of Deadly Pennsylvania Pileup Keeps Interstate Shut

Officials believe a snow squall clouded visibility and likely contributed to the multi-vehicle crash that killed at least three people Monday.

Cleanup Of Deadly Pennsylvania Pileup Keeps Interstate Shut
David McKeown / Republican-Herald via AP

A stretch of an interstate highway in Pennsylvania remained shuttered Tuesday, a day after at least three people were killed and more than a dozen others injured when tractor-trailers and other vehicles lost control and slammed into each other during a snow squall.

Some 40 Vehicles Collide On Snowy Pennsylvania Highway
Some 40 Vehicles Collide On Snowy Pennsylvania Highway

Some 40 Vehicles Collide On Snowy Pennsylvania Highway

Emergency personnel from four different counties responded and took about 20 patients to area hospitals for treatment.


Interstate 81 north remained closed early Tuesday morning following the wreck Monday morning amid poor visibility that involved between 40 and 60 vehicles, authorities and published reports say.

The crash Monday on Interstate 81 was captured in videos posted on social media that showed drivers and passengers lining the snowy road and jumping out of the way as the cascade of crashes unfolded. The north and southbound lanes of the highway were closed for several hours after the accident, but the southbound side reopened around 6:30 p.m. Monday. It was not known when the northbound side would reopen.

Numerous vehicles remained on the roadway in the northbound lanes early Tuesday, authorities said. Some vehicles were mostly burned and others melted onto the highway, and authorities said they needed to go through each vehicle to make sure there are no human remains.

Dr. David J. Moylan, the Schuylkill County coroner, has said three fatalities have been confirmed and that number could rise. A Pennsylvania State Police incident report noted 24 people were taken to four hospitals. People who could get out of their vehicles and walk were taken by buses to a Wegmans Distribution Center and then to Good Will Fire Company in Minersville serving as a reunification center, according to the report.

Estimates of the number of vehicles involved from the emergency management agency and state police ranged between 40 and 60, including multiple tractor trailers.

In one video, an out of control tractor-trailer smashed into a large dump truck turning it nearly 180 degrees, another large truck caught fire and spewed black smoke into the air, and an SUV struck a passenger car sending it spinning narrowly past a person standing on the shoulder in snow and fog.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.