Penn Turnpike Crash, At least two pileups involving tractor-trailers and scores of cars blocked one side of an ice-coated Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia on Friday, injuring at least 30 people and tying up traffic for miles. The eastbound crashes were reported just after 8 a.m., in the middle of rush hour and about five hours after a storm that dropped a foot of snow in the area finally moved out.
Speed restrictions put in place during the storm had been lifted at 6 a.m., but rush-hour motorists said the roadway was very slick, calling into question whether it had been adequately treated.
The accidents created an hours-long traffic jam between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits of the state’s primary east-west highway, and motorists turned off their engines to conserve gas.
“It’s a pretty calm atmosphere right now,” said Chuck Wacker, 53, Plymouth Meeting, who counted about 30 smashed-up vehicles around him. “People are sharing food and water.”
He said cars were spun around, gas tanks were cracked open and glass and plastic littered the road.