Trucks, dozens of cars crash on Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Ph - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Trucks, dozens of cars crash on Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia

Posted: Updated:
Vehicles are piled up in an accident Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Bensalem, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Vehicles are piled up in an accident Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Bensalem, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — At least two pileups involving tractor-trailers and scores of cars blocked one side of an ice-coated Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia on Friday, injuring at least 30 people and tying up traffic for miles.

The eastbound crashes were reported just after 8 a.m., in the middle of rush hour and about five hours after a storm that dropped a foot of snow in the area finally moved out.

Speed restrictions put in place during the storm had been lifted at 6 a.m., but rush-hour motorists said the roadway was very slick, calling into question whether it had been adequately treated.

The accidents created an hours-long traffic jam between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits of the state's primary east-west highway, and motorists turned off their engines to conserve gas.

"It's a pretty calm atmosphere right now," said Chuck Wacker, 53, Plymouth Meeting, who counted about 30 smashed-up vehicles around him. "People are sharing food and water."

He said cars were spun around, gas tanks were cracked open and glass and plastic littered the road.

Ambulances took 30 people from the scene, but none of the injuries are believed to be major, turnpike spokesman Bill Capone said. Abington Memorial Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center received many of the patients, but spokeswomen at the two facilities said none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Officials said it would take time to clear damaged vehicles, including tractor trailers, especially since some could not be driven away. About half of a 5-mile jam had been cleared as of early afternoon, Capone said.

The decision to lift the speed restrictions was based on road conditions at the time, he said.

"Based on reports from the road crews, the roads were such that we could restore it back to normal posted speeds," he said. "If somebody had said there was still a reason to keep it in place, we would've kept it in place."

Whether conditions changed after that decision would be part of the state police investigation, Capone said.

He said he was told the road had been treated but couldn't say when.

Several motorists interviewed by The Associated Press described an icy, slippery highway.

"I expected this road to be clear," said Dan Santillo, 65, of Jeffersonville, who was stuck about a mile back. "A major thoroughfare like this? It actually has pieces of ice that were never removed or salted. It just didn't make sense."

Santillo said he was driving 40 to 45 mph, but other motorists were flying by him at 65 or 70.

"I was thinking, what the hell are people doing? It's icy. They're crazy," he said. "People have this false sense of security. I was shocked. Don't they see the road, see what I'm seeing?"

David Hill, 27, said he wasn't surprised there was an accident.

"I got on the turnpike and it was nothing but ice," he said. "I was very surprised at the condition of it. Normally the turnpike is one of the first roads that's cleared, but today I was driving on solid ice."

Hill, who works for a wealth management company, was about a mile back and had turned his car off to save gas. Given the nearest exit was about 2 1/2 miles away, he anticipated being there for hours.

"There's no possible way," he said. "I'm stuck."

When a motorist two cars ahead of Wacker banged into a guardrail, he applied his brakes, and his Honda Ridgeline fishtailed but came to rest within inches of the motorist in front of him.

Vehicles are piled up in an accident Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Bensalem, Pa. Traffic accidents involving multiple tractor trailers and dozens of cars have completely blocked one side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia and caused some injuries. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

"There were bare spots and frozen spots. If you hit the brakes and were on that ice, you either slid into the guardrail or into the guy in front of you or the guy next to you," he said.

Motorists trapped in the traffic jam seemed mostly to be taking their predicament in stride, despite having already been stuck for several hours. Santillo, who had picked up a dozen heart-shaped doughnuts to take to work, passed them out to fellow motorists instead.

Volunteers from The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania were headed to the scene to bring food, water and blankets to stranded motorists.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Two-story home destroyed in overnight fire

    Two-story home destroyed in overnight fire

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:11:07 GMT
    Fire destroys two-story home on Letson Farm Trail in McCalla.More >>
    Fire destroys two-story home on Letson Farm Trail in McCalla.
    More >>
  • Labor Day Moon Pie eating contest

    Labor Day Moon Pie eating contest

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:22:19 GMT
    Dozens of folks got their ''fill'' of a popular Alabama treat this Labor Day.Tannehill State Park hosted the largest Moon Pie eating contest. All total there were 65 people who signed up. The winner receives a cash prize of $100. But this is about more than money. Park administrator, Stacey Green says, "I thought at times it was about the cash prizes, because the adults will win $100. But we've had so many repeat competitors, that I really think they're more in it for bragging rights. I re...More >>
    Dozens of folks got their ''fill'' of a popular Alabama treat this Labor Day.Tannehill State Park hosted the largest Moon Pie eating contest. All total there were 65 people who signed up. The winner receives a cash prize of $100. But this is about more than money. Park administrator, Stacey Green says, "I thought at times it was about the cash prizes, because the adults will win $100. But we've had so many repeat competitors, that I really think they're more in it for bragging rights. I re...More >>
  • Job growth under microscope this Labor Day

    Job growth under microscope this Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:50:56 GMT
    Keeping a roof overhead and putting food on the table. That's still difficult for many Alabamians on this 130th Labor Day. A just released report by Arise Citizens Policy Project warns Alabamians will continue to feel the effects of the great recession for years to come. Arise is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition that believes low-income people are suffering because of state policy decisions. Bottom line is that Alabama's unemployment rate stands at seven percent. Yet, the stat...More >>
    Keeping a roof overhead and putting food on the table. That's still difficult for many Alabamians on this 130th Labor Day. A just released report by Arise Citizens Policy Project warns Alabamians will continue to feel the effects of the great recession for years to come. Arise is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition that believes low-income people are suffering because of state policy decisions. Bottom line is that Alabama's unemployment rate stands at seven percent. Yet, the stat...More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Birmingham Police investigating homicide in Ensley

    UPDATE: Birmingham Police investigating homicide in Ensley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:44 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:44:25 GMT
    One person dead, one injured in shooting in EnsleyMore >>
    One person dead, one injured in shooting in Ensley
    More >>
  • Birmingham Skyline to be Lit Teal for Cancer Awareness

    Birmingham Skyline to be Lit Teal for Cancer Awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:39 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:39:56 GMT
    Birmingham, Ala._Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers is a very important mission and could ultimately save women's lives. Three Birmingham organizations — the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation — are partnering to do just that with their “A State of Teal” campaign. The campaign is taking place in September, which is National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.“A State ...More >>
    Birmingham, Ala._Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers is a very important mission and could ultimately save women's lives. Three Birmingham organizations — the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation — are partnering to do just that with their “A State of Teal” campaign. The campaign is taking place in September, which is National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.“A State ...More >>
  • Last day for parking under I-20-59 bridges downtown

    Last day for parking under I-20-59 bridges downtown

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:48:58 GMT
    Starting Tuesday, drivers won't be able to park underneath the I-20/59 bridges in downtown Birmingham.Around 400 spaces will be eliminated. It's due to safety concerns stemming from the aging overpass that will undergo repairs.Some call these parking spaces convenient, well shaded, valuable and without them.Robert Langston says, "It's kind of concerning because you need all the parking around here."Charlie Gamble says, "I think it's a mistake, especially when they have a big event." "We picni...More >>
    Starting Tuesday, drivers won't be able to park underneath the I-20/59 bridges in downtown Birmingham.Around 400 spaces will be eliminated. It's due to safety concerns stemming from the aging overpass that will undergo repairs.Some call these parking spaces convenient, well shaded, valuable and without them.Robert Langston says, "It's kind of concerning because you need all the parking around here."Charlie Gamble says, "I think it's a mistake, especially when they have a big event." "We picni...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: Birmingham Police investigating homicide in Ensley

    UPDATE: Birmingham Police investigating homicide in Ensley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:44 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:44:25 GMT
    One person dead, one injured in shooting in EnsleyMore >>
    One person dead, one injured in shooting in Ensley
    More >>
  • Birmingham Skyline to be Lit Teal for Cancer Awareness

    Birmingham Skyline to be Lit Teal for Cancer Awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:39 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:39:56 GMT
    Birmingham, Ala._Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers is a very important mission and could ultimately save women's lives. Three Birmingham organizations — the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation — are partnering to do just that with their “A State of Teal” campaign. The campaign is taking place in September, which is National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.“A State ...More >>
    Birmingham, Ala._Raising awareness to the symptoms of gynecologic cancers is a very important mission and could ultimately save women's lives. Three Birmingham organizations — the CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group, the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation — are partnering to do just that with their “A State of Teal” campaign. The campaign is taking place in September, which is National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.“A State ...More >>
  • Two-story home destroyed in overnight fire

    Two-story home destroyed in overnight fire

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:11:07 GMT
    Fire destroys two-story home on Letson Farm Trail in McCalla.More >>
    Fire destroys two-story home on Letson Farm Trail in McCalla.
    More >>
  • Saban: Bama's QB competition continues

    Saban: Bama's QB competition continues

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:26 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:26:09 GMT
    Alabama still has competition for the starting job at quarterback. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says both Blake Sims and Jake Coker will play Saturday against Florida Atlantic. He says he hasn't determined how the rotation will work for No. 2 Alabama.More >>
    Alabama still has competition for the starting job at quarterback. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says both Blake Sims and Jake Coker will play Saturday against Florida Atlantic. He says he hasn't determined how the rotation will work for No. 2 Alabama.
    More >>
  • Last day for parking under I-20-59 bridges downtown

    Last day for parking under I-20-59 bridges downtown

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:48:58 GMT
    Starting Tuesday, drivers won't be able to park underneath the I-20/59 bridges in downtown Birmingham.Around 400 spaces will be eliminated. It's due to safety concerns stemming from the aging overpass that will undergo repairs.Some call these parking spaces convenient, well shaded, valuable and without them.Robert Langston says, "It's kind of concerning because you need all the parking around here."Charlie Gamble says, "I think it's a mistake, especially when they have a big event." "We picni...More >>
    Starting Tuesday, drivers won't be able to park underneath the I-20/59 bridges in downtown Birmingham.Around 400 spaces will be eliminated. It's due to safety concerns stemming from the aging overpass that will undergo repairs.Some call these parking spaces convenient, well shaded, valuable and without them.Robert Langston says, "It's kind of concerning because you need all the parking around here."Charlie Gamble says, "I think it's a mistake, especially when they have a big event." "We picni...More >>
  • City of Clay to defend pit bull ban in court Tuesday

    City of Clay to defend pit bull ban in court Tuesday

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:14:16 GMT
    The city of Clay will defend its Vicious Dog Ordinance Tuesday morning in court. The city council passed the ordinance last year. It bans pit bulls. Mayor Charles Webster calls it the biggest safety issue in Clay since he's been elected.More >>
    The city of Clay will defend its Vicious Dog Ordinance Tuesday morning in court. The city council passed the ordinance last year. It bans pit bulls. Mayor Charles Webster calls it the biggest safety issue in Clay since he's been elected.
    More >>
  • Friday Night Blitz: Coverage lineup for Week 3

    Friday Night Blitz: Coverage lineup for Week 3

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:32:55 GMT
    Week 3 Blitz Game of the Week:MOUNTAIN BROOK vs HOOVER (The Met)Blitz Cheer:BESSEMER CITY at BROOKWOODBlitz Brigade:HUEYTOWN at MINOROther Notable Matchups:VESTAVIA HILLS at OAK MOUNTAINNORTHRIDGE at MCADORYHILLCREST at CLAY-CHALKVILLE CENTRAL-CLAY at SHELBY COUNTYDEMOPOLIS at CALERAMUNFORD at LEEDSCHILTON COUNTY at PELL CITYPIEDMONT at ASHVILLEMOODY vs SPRINGVILLEJACKSON-OLIN vs BRIARWOODTHOMPSON at SPAIN PARKHEWITT-TRUSSVILLE at TUSCALOOSA COUNTYCORNER vs FAIRFIELDGREENE COUNTY vs GORDOTHOR...More >>
    Week 3 Blitz Game of the Week:MOUNTAIN BROOK vs HOOVER (The Met)Blitz Cheer:BESSEMER CITY at BROOKWOODBlitz Brigade:HUEYTOWN at MINOROther Notable Matchups:VESTAVIA HILLS at OAK MOUNTAINNORTHRIDGE at MCADORYHILLCREST at CLAY-CHALKVILLE CENTRAL-CLAY at SHELBY COUNTYDEMOPOLIS at CALERAMUNFORD at LEEDSCHILTON COUNTY at PELL CITYPIEDMONT at ASHVILLEMOODY vs SPRINGVILLEJACKSON-OLIN vs BRIARWOODTHOMPSON at SPAIN PARKHEWITT-TRUSSVILLE at TUSCALOOSA COUNTYCORNER vs FAIRFIELDGREENE COUNTY vs GORDOTHOR...More >>
  • Member of biker club speaks about fight before shooting

    Member of biker club speaks about fight before shooting

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:29:44 GMT

    Police: suspect in fight before shooting into crowd

    More >>

    Police: suspect in fight before shooting into crowd

    More >>