1 Dead, thirty Hurt in Massive I-76 Pileup in Montgomery County
Officials have identified the man who was killed in a massive and deadly pileup involving fifty six vehicles on Interstate seventy six in Montgomery County Sunday morning amid icy road conditions.
Drivers Speak on Massive I-76 Pileup
Eric Alan Blau, 31, of Philadelphia was killed and thirty others were hurt in the crash that happened in the westbound lanes of I-76 near the Gulph Mills exit in Upper Merion around 6:40 a.m., according to officials.
Blau’s vehicle, a silver Mazda Protege, was one of the very first vehicles involved in the crash and became disabled, investigators said. Blau then exited his car and was struck by another vehicle, according to investigators. He later died from his injuries.
“It’s truly sad,” said Willie Mahfouz, Blau’s friend and former roomy. “Very sad. He was very youthful. But what can you say?”
Westbound lanes on I-76 remained closed more than four hours after the crash occurred as rescuers loaded the more than two dozen injured onto a bus to transfer them to local hospitals.
“When we got here, there was strenuous smoke coming from a lot of the cars,” said Kaitlyn Maier, a driver caught in the jam on I-76. “People had already stopped and were sitting outside of their cars.”
Victor Moye was traveling on the Schuylkill Expressway on his way to work when he crashed into other vehicles that stopped along the busy interstate.
The Pottstown man is simply grateful he buckled up while driving.
“I’m fortunate I had my seatbelt on,” Moye said. “Thank God I had my seatbelt on.”
Moye, who was treated at Bryn Mawr Hospital for minor shoulder and back injuries, said he embarked pumping his brakes when he spotted traffic at a halt ahead of him, but it was too late.
“As I hit the car, a car comes behind and hits me,” he said. “I’m swinging around four, five times as other cars are hitting that car and hitting me as well.”
Another man rushed to Bryn Mawr Hospital when he learned his wifey was hurt in the accident.
“All of a unexpected, my wifey said she spotted the cars in front of her embark sliding,” said Bernard Caldwell, of Philadelphia. “So she slowed down and then she eyed an accident in front of her.”
“Then she stopped and a car ran into the back of her,” he continued. “She got out and could see the melee with all the different cars.”
“She was very panicked,” said Caldwell, who added they now are working out how to recover her bruised vehicle.
Once all those hurt were transferred to area hospitals — just after 11:30 a.m.– crews began working to open one westbound lane of traffic. They used cranes to pick up cars mangled in a mess of steel and plastic on the highway.
At least three local hospitals are treating patients involved in the I-76 crash. At least fifteen people were transferred to Bryn Mawr Hospital, eleven to Paoli Hospital and five to Lankenau Medical Center, officials said.
Slick roads also caused collisions that closed parts of Interstates ninety five and four hundred seventy six in and around Philadelphia. Along the Walt Whitman Bridge in South Philadelphia, more than two dozen cars, including a Delaware Sea Port Authority police cruiser, were involved in a chain reaction crash in the westbound lanes.
Authorities from numerous counties are urged drivers to stay home as road conditions turned dangerous via the region.
PennDOT had almost one hundred fifty trucks out treating roadways before daybreak, when it became clear that conditions would be slimy, said PennDOT’s Eugene Blaum. A freezing rain advisory was in effect in the area through ten a.m. but temperatures were forecast to rise into the 40s later Sunday.
The deadly expressway accident was one of more than a dozen reported on roads around the region on Sunday morning, some causing closures while others just blocked lanes.
At least two people were also killed in a multi-vehicle accident on I-476 near Marple Road in Broomall, police said. A third deadly crash took the life of a fourth person on Route fifty five in Gloucester County, authorities said.
In Fresh Jersey, state police reported more than four hundred twenty five accidents. Fresh Jersey Transit bus service was suspended in icy areas.
A swath from Pennsylvania to Maine was under a freezing rain advisory, according to the National Weather Service.
In Fresh York City and its northern suburbs, the dangerous conditions compelled sections of roads to close all over the area. City authorities received so many nine hundred eleven calls related to the slimy conditions that Fresh Jersey sent ten ambulances to the city to assist emergency responders.
Cars inched along on local roads, where braking at stoplights meant unexpected swerves as drivers attempted to get traction on greasy surfaces.
In Connecticut, an 88-year-old Woodbridge woman died in one of forty crashes in Fresh Haven Sunday morning amid treacherous, icy conditions.
Meantime, ice and strenuous fog caused a pile-up involving seventy cars and seventeen semi-trucks in Oregon on Saturday night, according to Oregon State Police. At least twelve people were injured in the crash, police said.