Whiteout blamed for two bad multiple-vehicle crashes
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Whiteout conditions in northern Pennsylvania today led to at least two bad multiple-vehicle accidents, one with fatalities.
At least two people were killed in a multi-vehicle, chain-reaction crash on Interstate 80 in Venango County this afternoon.
The interstate was closed for a 10-mile stretch, from mile marker 32 to 42 after the crash about 2:20 p.m., said county 911 supervisor Mary Beth White.
"We actually had multiple calls at multiple mile markers within two seconds of each other," she said.
Ms. White believes at least 20 vehicles were involved -- sliding both into each other and into the median. Officers on the scene are still checking for patients, and at least six people are reported injured.
The highway is expected to be closed into the evening, Ms. White said.
Interstate 79 has reopened in Mercer County after being closed for about three hours following a snowy pileup involving about 40 vehicles.
Mercer County emergency officials said whiteout driving conditions were to blame for the chain-reaction accident.
No fatalities have been reported in the accident that occurred about noon on the southbound side of the road in Deer Creek Township, said Dennis Winger, a 911 supervisor.
State police from the Mercer barracks are still tallying the damage, but a several mile stretch of the interstate was closed in both directions so emergency crews and tow trucks could respond.
Police say troopers from four barracks, the American Red Cross and PennDOT officials responded. Fifteen tow trucks and a school bus were used to get stranded motorists to safety.
Traffic had been detoured to U.S. Route 19, which runs roughly parallel to I-79.
First Published February 25, 2012 2:11 pm