One side of the ice-coated Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia was completely blocked last week due to two major pileups and a number of smaller fender-benders that involved both tractor-trailers and other cars. At least thirty people were injured and traffic was backed up for hours. It was just after 8:30 a.m. last Friday when the eastbound crashes were reported to authorities. The crashes occurred in the middle of rush hour traffic and not long after a storm that brought about a foot of snow to the area. Speed restrictions were imposed during the snow storm, but those restrictions were lifted at 6:00 a.m. The roads were still very slick when rush-hour drivers traveled on Friday, leading people to question whether the roads were adequately treated during the night. State police also believe sun glare may have played a role in the crashes.
The string of crashes created a five-mile traffic jam between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits of the turnpike. It took authorities until the middle of the afternoon to clear up the road and officials did not reopen the turnpike in both directions until close to 4:00 p.m. One motorist who was stuck in the traffic jam said he saw about thirty damaged vehicles around him. He stated cars were turned around, facing the opposite direction of travel, gas tanks were cracked open, and the road was covered in glass and plastic. Ambulances transported thirty people from the scene of the crashes, but it was believed that no one sustained major injuries. Many of the injured were seen at two local hospitals.
State police continued to investigate the cause of the crashes; a spokesman stated some of the likely contributors were icy conditions, excessive speed, and sun glare. Trooper Adam Reed said, “The road looked wet, when it reality it was patches of ice.” Turnpike spokesman Bill Capone said that speed restrictions were lifted at 6:00 a.m. because road crews reported that road conditions had improved enough to return to normal speeds. Part of the state police investigation will be to determine whether the road conditions changed after the decision to return to normal, posted speed limits was made. Motorists described the turnpike as icy and slippery. One of the drivers of a vehicle that was struck stated the turnpike had “pieces of ice that were never removed or salted.” That driver also stated he was driving at about 40-45 mph, but other drivers were flying by him at 65-70 mph. Another driver said he was surprised by the road conditions because “normally the turnpike is one of the first roads that’s cleared, but today I was driving on solid ice.”
Trucks, dozens of cars crash on Pa. turnpike www.palmbeachpost.com February 14, 2014
Snow, ice, rain, and other similar weather conditions create very dangerous situations for drivers on highways. These types of weather conditions often make roadways extremely slippery and make it hard for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. Additionally, excessive speed on slippery highways can drastically increase the likelihood of serious injury crashes. The North Miami Beach automobile accident attorneys at the Friedland Law Group understand how devastating and tragic massive highway pileup accidents can be. The Kendall motor vehicle accident attorneys have over two decades of experience helping injured individuals and families who have lost a loved one in motor vehicle accidents. Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona want to help you pick up the pieces after a tragic accident, so call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!
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