TruckingIndustry.news

3 Dead, 73 Injured In Mass I-78 Pile-up

by Jana Ritter - Published: 2/15/2016

So far it’s been a bad winter for interstate pile-ups and on Saturday Pennsylvania had one of its worst ever. The deadly mass crash occurred on I-78 along Bethel Township and left 3 people dead, 73 injured and a wreckage pile of more than 60 mangled vehicles including 12 commercial trucks and dozens of crushed cars.

                                                             I-78 pile-up

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The crash occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and is said to be caused by what drivers reported as whiteout conditions, with very low visibility and a lot of drifting snow. "People were saying they couldn't see past the front bumpers of their cars," said State Trooper, Justine Summa. While the investigation is still underway, senior accident reconstructionist Greg Sullenberger, said it started with a sudden whiteout and "that once that snow squall hit, cars and trucks crashed into each other, drivers blinded by the white, leaving the highway and median clogged with a mass of twisted metal. It's a 60-vehicle puzzle and we’ll have to solve it one piece at a time.” 

                                                            I-78 chain reaction crash 

The initial pile-up caused traffic to back-up and secondary chain reaction crashes for nearly a quarter mile down the interstate. Frederick Weiss of New Jersey was near the end of the chain and said that he pulled onto the center median as soon as he saw the vehicles ahead slowing and stopping. He then said that cars behind him also began pulling over and then he suddenly heard someone shouting for everyone to get out of their cars. Moments later, Weiss said their vehicles were getting hit from behind.

                                                            3 dead, 73 injured       

Most tragic, is that 3 people lost their lives as a result of the incident and were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. On Sunday, authorities released the names of the victims as Kenneth J. Lesko, 50, of Bethpage, NY; Francisca V. Pear, 54, of Bridgewater, NJ; and Alfred Dean Kinnick, 57, of Limestone, TN. Additionally, 73 people were taken by medical helicopters and ambulances to 11 area hospitals. Emergency crews helped the uninjured motorists out of the wreckage and took them to a nearby Red Cross shelter set-up at a fire station.

Crews worked tirelessly overnight in cold temperatures and managed to untangle and remove all of the wreckage from the road. The I-78 was fully re-opened by 7a.m. Sunday morning.


Nina Davis
Nina Davis
Yesterday I was driving along on I-90 in New York. It started snowing and visibility had gone down to 1/4 mile. I pulled in to a service plaza and parked. No load is worth my life or the life of others. It can wait. That's what my company stresses to all of our drivers.
Mike Nagy
Mike Nagy
Pennsylvania has a unique approach to pre-treating and clearing snow from roads: "screw it, we'll just wait till after the pileup".
Bryan Panella
Bryan Panella
Yes they do. You never see a pendot plow during the storm.
Patrick Andrews
Patrick Andrews
Really how long you been driving for guess not long enough
Mike Nagy
Mike Nagy
15 years. Been going across PA a couple times a week for almost all of it. Don't worry though, you know better.
Erick Painter
Erick Painter
Not totally disagreeing but pendot was out yesterday afternoon and this morning. They also lowered the speed limit to 45 on I81. You couldn't tell though
Marcus Beard
Marcus Beard
Well mike it wasnt like that .it was a snow sqaull that caused this accident the roads were clear
Char King
Char King
I live in PA, and your right for some counties they are out during storms, but other county's they wait
Michael Eldred
Michael Eldred
Last night, early this morning there was two or three more places on 81 in Pa. Following distance and patients with other drivers is something that I see less of these last couple years.
Michael Mathews
Michael Mathews
They need to regulate the weather with e logs
Michael Eldred
Michael Eldred
Lmaooooo
Stephen Christensen
Stephen Christensen
Lol
Dave Vickers
Dave Vickers
For your on safety in the future if this ever happens pull to the side of the road and wait it out. If people would just use common sense this could have been prevented.
Carl R. Pierce Jr
Carl R. Pierce Jr
Or bring back the CBs in bad weather. 15?years ago a 4 truck pileup was a big deal. We always knew what was going on a few miles in front of us. Now the CB is quiet unless your around a big city. Just sucks running up on crap now days. But it's the new age. Fasten seatbelt and hang on.
Michael Gravatte
Michael Gravatte
I just park it go to a hotel and go swimming just like I did yesterday call the company and tell him I need a credit card number so I can pay the hotel bill !!! . And yes I am a fair weather Union driver don't have to fool around in the snow and risk my life !!!
Brian Porter
Brian Porter
It happened in a matter of minutes, the weather changed so fast on just a cold day.
Richard Brown Sr.
Richard Brown Sr.
So in other words your a wimpy driver
Michael Gravatte
Michael Gravatte
Not at all 3 million + miles ticket and accidental free and I get paid To NOT drive in that CRAP !!!
Kendal Nawadny
Kendal Nawadny
The union never hurt trucking. But the ATA has
Dean Murphy
Dean Murphy
The union sucks! Teamsters 776, just ask my ole man.... When MFX, Eastern, Carolina all went belly up where was the Union you speak of.... Uhhh, that's right. It took a lawsuit and 7 city's to get jobs back for thousands of employees after Carolina folded and ABF was hiring off the street like crazy. Smh, the $$$ is good, the welfare benefits are good but if the union isn't gonna do their job, then it's a regular job and you give them your money each month. My opinion it's a scam that makes you unhappy and you live at their telephone ring. No thank you
Michael Gravatte
Michael Gravatte

Nicholas Tomcheck
Nicholas Tomcheck
These 300 mph dispatchers might learn some day.
Helen Flickinger
Helen Flickinger
People don't know how to slow down now days
Kendal Nawadny
Kendal Nawadny
They don't know how to drive..
Michael Ponton
Michael Ponton
Prayers for the family's
Joel Sadilek
Joel Sadilek
This is what any ordinary driving folk would call a "colossal fuck up".
Indio Reyes
Indio Reyes
Primo yo estaba atra rumbo a ny cuando eso paso..me fui por la 76 y Penn turnpike...estaba feo
Phil Killerlain
Phil Killerlain
You can be driving along and everything be fine and run into a snow squall storm like this and other than trying to make sure you get out of the way there is not much else to do right at that moment ! But the late run into the rear of others are the problem , either not paying attention or going to fast ! But no one except those involved know for sure where they messed up or not !
Al Reigert
Al Reigert
Not sure why you would stop in the middle of the road? Chances are good if you can't see, the person behind you can't either.
Timothy Begle
Timothy Begle
We’ve always had to deal with sudden “whiteout conditions”. However the past couple years we see as very sudden increase in pileups. Plus, a lot more excuses for it. In the past we didn’t make excuses. We just kept safer following distances and didn’t drive like animals as people do today. Hit a whiteout in the past we didn’t have to slam on the brakes because we were already going slower because of the weather and road conditions. Plus if we couldn’t see we just slowed down and had room for it. But it get worse as people keep driving like animals and not read the road in front of them. Now days it’s more like a NASCAR race. Nose to tail no mater the weather conditions and road conditions. Drivers changing lanes every time they see a hole or brake lights. In the past brake lights meant something was going on when in the middle of the Interstate. Now people just keep standing on it and change lanes and end up in a wall of trucks and cars. This is why I stay away from the herds.
Erick Painter
Erick Painter
I agree. Pack mentality goes for truckers nowadays also. I hate it.
James R Maxwell
James R Maxwell
NASCAR truck drivers, saw it all day yesterday. Well almost every day and I love when someone say "Come on get that large car out here and let's go!" I don't need to run like an idiot to make time. I don't have an Elog and I have a big enough motor so when the congestion clears, I can run. Watch an idiot from Kiem up through Lowell, AR (actually he started south of there) when he had to make a hard left into the other lane when he almost rear ended me. Then he proceeded to bird dog trucks and four wheelers all through rush hour there. Several times he ended up behind those of us in the right lane. He got on this minivan with a woman and her children and didn't have space for a couple of tires between his bumper and them. This set me off and several other drivers. Calls to him on the CB did no good. Finally one of the drivers got his truck number and called his company. The slightest mistake and he could've killed them all. There is just no call for that BS!
Erick Painter
Erick Painter
Kllm? Top speed about 65 or 68. Swift and Werner 68. Most prime 62 or 64. Jb hunt 62. Maverick and abf 62.
Erick Painter
Erick Painter
I try to be a student of the road and observant. I see it everywhere how people bunch up. Alot of them are messing with cell phones and glancing up and down. Staying with the vehicle in front like a drunk driver. Occasionally you see the random texter in the middle lane slowing down and speeding up like that.
Timothy Begle
Timothy Begle
"Kllm? Top speed about 65 or 68. Swift and Werner 68. Most prime 62 or 64. Jb hunt 62. Maverick and abf 62." Maybe you could get a job as a Safety Manager? Those speeds are meaningless. Most of the tailgating, driving to fast for conditions as in rain, snow, fog, ice and heavy traffic and in construction zones. Is mostly done by the mindless crowd driving those trucks with the Speed Limiters. They do drive like it’s a NASCAR Race. Nose to tail reacting like animals instead of reasoning human beings. They see an open hole going down the road they flip lanes like their azz is on fire. That lane slows down they flip into another lane. Nose to tail and they can’t see anything in front of them because they follow so darn close. All that, and then when somebody loses it on slick roads. They all pile into each other because they had no time to react let alone slow down in time. Of course, there’s always a Fed-X truck in every pileup. Those low paid idiots are killers and mindless. Just like the ones that drive the little delivery vans and trucks. Stupid azzes always get lost and drop your packages at a house a mile away. Makes no difference how big your name and address is on the mailbox. They still get lost. UPS on the other hand is always the same driver and he has a personality. Fed-X package delivery drivers have no personality, look as if they are about to die from a heart attack and the one’s that do talk. Just bitch about their jobs! I get tired of the slobs pulling out in front of me.
Doug Petersen
Doug Petersen
The below posts are stupid. Sometimes it comes on fast, you are just in it and can not avoid it.
John Cade
John Cade
Slow down when you can't see
Larry Peterson
Larry Peterson
Move to the right. Don't slow, way down in the lanes
Steven Deen
Steven Deen
So sad
Lisa Horvath
Lisa Horvath
😢
Shane Leiser
Shane Leiser
if the weather is bad I shut down. it's not my skill level but other people's. if the road was empty I would keep going. but most of these guys fly down the road when it's pure ice. they ride 50 ft from the tail of the truck infront. and then don't understand why they are involved in wrecks. I hate saying it, but anyone killed in a pile up is their own fault. if you weren't being a dumb ass you'd be alive.
Donald Gough
Donald Gough
How hard is it drivers. To back out of it. Even if it starts to flake. Take 15 min. And back it down. White outs don't start out as white outs. All you proffesionals I can drive in anything. Thats reason for pile ups. Simple realy simple. If your looking far enough ahead you can see the snow start. Even off to the sides of you .if your paying attention. Thats your cue to slow down .then if it does white out you have your bearings. And can make proper adjustments. Try it sometimes it works. Million half miles accident free. For a reason. Call me a pussy. Or a chicken. But when it flakes I slow down. And had many of white outs dump on me. But was ready for it. Stay safe. 35 more days till spring.
Dean Murphy
Dean Murphy
Some people just shouldn't drive in adverse weather conditions. They think,, they can handle it when they can't. Wouldn't surprise me if 5 or 10 where on the phone or distracted somehow in their vehicles along with diving to fast and following to closely and having to much faith in the person they are following.
Michael Eldred
Michael Eldred
Snow squall at Binghamton NY. Had a car slide into a tanker truck at 1 mile marker on 88.. Snow squall continued up 88 until tapering off after exit 21 near the 90 mile marker. Slick conditions with left lane covered, both lanes periodically with coverage.
Alexandria Bullock Alex
Alexandria Bullock Alex
States that normally take care of there roads the past few years have been really lazy just my opinion that nj, MD, DE, NY, VA and PA
Nicholas Tomcheck
Nicholas Tomcheck
The best thing is close the road in them conditions. Penn dot knows as well as the troopers in that area what's to unfold.
Kerry Norm Brobst
Kerry Norm Brobst
To all the know it all's out there how does one actually prepare a road surface for an out of know where snow squall ?????
Timothy Begle
Timothy Begle
For starters don't tailgate! Then when everybody starts to slam on their brakes you have room to move around and stop. Second, snow just doesn't start all a sudden. Thus drivers should already be ajusting their speeds and increasing their following distance. Not so hard to do if you stop blaming your actions on others and just read the road in front of you.
Kerry Norm Brobst
Kerry Norm Brobst
If you would have read my comment I was referring to the road surface not how idiots drive !!!
Kerry Norm Brobst
Kerry Norm Brobst
So you've never been in a snow squall ??? How long have you been driving and where ????
Timothy Begle
Timothy Begle
Did I say somewhere I was never in a snow squall? It seems I posted a long azz post that says we all have been. But years back we didn't all pile into each other. The problem now is drivers of both cars and trucks are running nose to tail in a herd. Then when all heck breaks lose they all pile into each other. I stay away from the herds. I want room to maneuver
Kerry Norm Brobst
Kerry Norm Brobst
I agree been on the road 27yrs and shit has changed my comment was towards the ones blaming penn dot
John Green
John Green
There was a lady in a car posted the weather conditions on her cell phone while driving. Great job dumb ass
Lonnie Miller
Lonnie Miller
Just because its snowing and you cant see your hood orniment just go ahead and run em 80 miles an hr.
Kendal Nawadny
Kendal Nawadny
So far it's been a good year for carrier's to put shitheads behind the wheel i know we dodge them every day
Moreno Jay
Moreno Jay
Still can't believe thats a car in between that Prime truck and red Volvo smh
Rick Stotler
Rick Stotler
no one,was driving to fast,or,to fast,for conditions! of course not!
Michael Gravatte
Michael Gravatte

Michael Mathews
Michael Mathews
What a joke
Jon Rubin
Jon Rubin
Local 2 teamsters in bozeman montana is a joke.
Brandi Monroe
Brandi Monroe
Hell yeah union is the best in my opinion! My dad was union with yellow freight and he didnt have to drive in this shit! Stay off the roads drivers!
John MD Kessner
John MD Kessner
These motor carriers ruined everything its called greed and the ATA the good ole boy club working against drivers the want $400.00 a week steering wheel holders I just got off the road to much bullshit not worth it anymore. You make the same monies staying home. And also the last company I was at is big anti union and there excuse always is on any raises is oh we got to ask the shipper bullcrap they are always making top buck pulling loads out of Nebraska . All they pay is miles and they short you on them to have to watch them like a hawk. All these carriers are all the same. Hell I just turned a job down here around Rockford Illinois lol .35 cents a mile lol what an insult and a kick in the stones stay home a make that. All these motor carriers should look in the mirror and ask themselves what are we doing wrong here well here ya go its them. Bunch of greedy crooks and that ata no better get rid of them they think they represent the driver but they be screwing them thru the back scenes. What a joke.
Jon Rubin
Jon Rubin
Union or not Brandi MonroeBrandi if the conditions are bad you don't have to drive.
Duane Thomas
Duane Thomas
Thats why u cant hall ass in winter
Gerald Ameele
Gerald Ameele
Fucktards
Char King
Char King
Prayers for all
Rick Jacobs
Rick Jacobs
Turn your fucking CB's on dumb ass
Mitzi Baker
Mitzi Baker
Amen
Jim Van Houtan
Jim Van Houtan
.....and add speed and arrogance
Jerry Reed
Jerry Reed
Brian Kramer
Rich Baechle
Rich Baechle
Karry Baechle