After the pileup crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the investigation to find out how and why it happened continues. In the morning of February 14, a crash of as many as 100 vehicles caused a traffic disaster just outside Philadelphia. The crash injured 30 people.
Although the roads had reopened about seven hours after the pileup crash on Friday, officials are still investigating if the crash has happened due to weather conditions or if there is more. The Pennsylvania State Police said numerous drivers lost control of their vehicle, which left five tractor-trailers and 10 cars in a mess. This first crash was followed by a series of minor crashes. Officials say it took only minutes before the pileup crash stretched five miles back.
A spokesperson of the Pennsylvania State Police said, “Currently it seems that drivers were unable to stop their vehicles. It also seems there was no speeding involved. We think it could be the wind, snow or ice, but for now, this massive crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike remains a bit of a mystery and so investigation must continue.” Meteorologist Tedd Florendo says the wind could not have played a role. “The area of Philadelphia has had a large amount of snow in the past days and there was still a lot of slush on the road. Even a four-wheel drive is unable to remain stable in these weather conditions,” he explains. His colleague Bill Henly adds, “It could also have been the sun glare and the fact that the crash happened just after sunrise. Sunrise is often the coldest time of the day and causes melted ice to freeze again.”
Kristen Goncalves was standing on a nearby overpass, when her husband became part of the pileup crash. She says, “He was already standing still because of the crash that had happened in front of him, but then other cars came up from behind. He said he was unable to use the breaks and his car was spinning. He then crashed into the cars in front of him.” Jeff and Tracy Wood say they were saved by other vehicles. “As my car began to spin, a FedEx truck hit me. From the other end, a tractor-trailer hit me and so my car was stuck in between,” Tracy says.
Some drivers were able to avoid a crash. Lisa Terreri and her husband started seeing several minor crashes while they were driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. She says, “It seemed that drivers were unable to use their breaks. I could also see that the road had a lot of ice on it. We were very lucky that we were able to stop our vehicle without crashing into anyone.” Lisa Terreri and her husband remained unharmed and ended up in the middle of two crash scenes.
To help stranded motorists, the Pennsylvania Red Cross and the Salvation Army came to the scene to bring food, water and blankets. People who were injured in the crash were taken to several hospitals in the area; however, officials state most of them had been discharged by the end of the day. The State Police said it will not release any more speculations regarding the Pennsylvania Turnpike crash, as investigation continues at the moment.
By Diana Herst