State Watch

Three dead, others hospitalized in massive pileup in Pennsylvania

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Authorities said three motorists are dead and 17 others have been hospitalized with injuries due to a massive pileup caused by heavy fog and precipitation from a snow squall in the area, according to CNN


Schuylkill County deputy emergency management coordinator John Blickley previously said 20 motorists were sent to nearby medical facilities due to the crash, adding that 40 vehicles were involved in the pileup on Interstate 81. 

Blickley noted that authorities responded to the scene with multiple vehicles on fire, according to CNN. 

In a tweet, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that all lanes near the vehicle crash were closed. 

“UPDATE: Multi vehicle crash on I-81 northbound between Exit 116 — PA 901 and Exit 119 — Highridge Park Rd. All lanes closed,” the agency said in a tweet.

The National Weather Service said a snow squall warning was announced for Schuylkill County and neighboring areas until 1:30 p.m., according to CNN. 

Motorist Mike Moye told the outlet that he began recording other motorists skidding down the highway and slamming into the backs of their vehicles during the winter storm. Moye was not injured in the pileup. 

“I thought it was going to be okay. I thought the cars in the back would know to slow down but no one slowed down. They just kept piling up,” Moye told CNN.

Motorist Basia Szydlowsk recorded a video showing numerous vehicles splayed across the highway in the aftermath of the accident, CNN reported. 

A snow squall is a short, intense period of heavy to moderate snowfall that is accompanied by intense wind gusts and possible lightning strikes. 

The winter storm is expected to move across New York and other parts of the Northeast on Monday, CNN noted. 

Update: 5:58 p.m. 

Tags Pennslyvania Pennsylvania Department of Transportation snow squall

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