Crews reopen lanes of Pennsylvania Turnpike after crash


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Both westbound lanes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike have reopened between the Monroeville and Allegheny Valley exits after a tractor-trailer overturned at 4:41 a.m.

Pennsylvania State Police said the tandem trailer Volvo owned by Fedex Freight Inc. in Indiana overturned at mile 48.9 while traveling westbound in the right lane.

The driver, 44-year-old David Hufford of Ohio, lost control while negotiating a steep downhill curve in a heavy rainstorm.

The truck struck the right guardrail, crossed both westbound lanes and crashed into the median barrier, causing it to roll onto its passenger side and block both westbound lanes.

Guy Jeffrey, superintendent of District 1 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, said the truck spilled 10 gallons of fuel.

Mr. Jeffrey called the incident a "minor accident" and said nobody was hurt.

Westbound lanes were closed on the busy highway until about 7:30 a.m. when the left lane reopened briefly to allow backlogged traffic stuck between Monroeville Interchange and the accident to pass, state police said.

Once that traffic cleared, both westbound lanes of the turnpike closed again to allow workers to tow the trailers and clear the truck's load. State police said three separate towing service units were involved in the clean-up because of the size of the truck.

State police fielded numerous calls from drivers after the westbound left lane was temporarily opened at 7:30 a.m. asking why they were being prevented from entering the turnpike at the Monroeville Interchange.

The Monroeville Interchange remained closed until the left westbound lane reopened permanently at 11:16 a.m. Both lanes were open by 11:30 a.m.

Eastbound lanes were unaffected in the crash.

Debra Phillips, managing director of communications for Fedex Freight Inc., confirmed that a Fedex Freight driver was involved in the accident and said "we are working with local authorities as we investigate."

breaking - region - Transportation - neigh_east

Benjamin Mueller: bmueller@post-gazette.com.


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