Two pileups occurred during Friday’s rush hour on the Pennsylvania Turnpike right outside of Philadelphia.
The icy road-blockage, which affected commuters traveling eastbound near the Route 1 exit, was reported around 8:30 a.m. The traffic jam was nearly five miles long.
At least 100 cars were involved, one at a count of 30 vehicles and the other at 75. However, officials predict that “approximately ten vehicles were involved in the initial accident which sparked a chain reaction of pileups.”
"There are so many cars that will need to be towed out and the bigger trucks involved that will also need to be towed out,” said a spokesperson with the Communications Department of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Witnesses who recounted the horrific event said that some cars spun out of control crashing into each other.
According to Fox 8 Cleveland, Heather Pasco said that a truck slid into the back of her car after she decided to stop.
“I saw him (in the mirror), and I thought I was done. The entire back end of my car is gone,” she said.
Pasco later said that she believed the roads were plowed improperly.
Commuter David Hill, 27, said that the ice-coated roads surprised him.
“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.”
Snow flurries that fell the night before could have possibly been the reason behind the slippery road conditions. Weather meteorologists say that the snowfall stopped five hours before commuters started their early morning travels. Most of it had turned into sleet and ice.
As of right now, officials confirm that 30 people suffered from minor injuries. The turnpike eventually reopened at 4 p.m and was cleared of all debris. Investigators are still determining if wintry conditions caused the two pileups.
Strangely enough, this is not the first pileup that has occurred on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In December, 10 people were sent to the hospital due to multiple collisions that involved 35 vehicles.
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