3 dead, dozens injured in icy pileups in Pennsylvania

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Sunday, January 18, 2015
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At least three people are dead after multi-vehicle accidents due to icy roads in Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA -- At least three people are dead after multi-vehicle accidents on the Schuylkill Expressway and the Blue Route due to icy roads.

One person was pronounced dead after the major pile-up involving 56 vehicles on the Schuylkill Expressway westbound.

The accident on I-76 in Upper Merion, Pa. occurred just before 7:00 a.m.

Traffic was blocked in both directions between Gulph Mills and the Blue Route for almost five hours.

One lane on the eastbound side reopened just before noon.

State Police confirm one person was killed in the crash.

Authorities say there were at least 31 injured.

Police had to bring in SEPTA buses to transport the victims to hospitals.

Montgomery County authorities report emergency vehicles responding to the scene also experienced problems.

The injured were taken to numerous hospitals including Bryn Mawr and Lankenau Hospital

It is one of a number of multi-vehicle accidents due to icy roads Sunday morning.

A second accident on the Schuylkill Expressway near mile marker 337 involved seven vehicles.

Around the same time, a multi-vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer occurred on the Blue Route at West Chester Pike in Broomall, Delaware County.

Pennsylvania State Police confirm two people were pronounced dead at the scene.

Numerous injuries were also reported.

There was also another multi-vehicle accident on West Chester Pike.

The icy conditions also caused closures to the area bridges.

The Betsy Ross Bridge is open eastbound to New Jersey. Westbound to Pennsylvania remains closed.

The Walt Whitman Bridge is open eastbound to New Jersey. Westbound to Pennsylvania remains closed.

The Ben Franklin Bridge, Tacony Palmyra Bridge, Burlington-Bristol Bridge, and the Commodore Barry Bridge were also shut down for a period of time but have reopened.

Meanwhile multiple accidents were reported on I-95 northbound and southbound resulting in delays.

In the Frankford section of Philadelphia, a fire department ladder truck slid on ice at Frankford Avenue and Margaret Street while responding to an accident.

The truck jackknifed around 8:00 a.m. No injuries were reported.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed eastbound and westbound between Morgantown and the Delaware River Bridge interchange. It reopened at noon with a reduced speed limit of 45mph.

In Claymont, Delaware, a State Trooper received minor injuries after his patrol car was struck while investigating a crash.

The trooper was on location on I-495 over Naamans Road taking a report on an ice-related accident when his vehicle was struck.

The trooper was taken by ambulance to Christiana Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

While on location covering this incident, the Action Cam captured a third crash on the ramp for Naamans Road.

PennDOT spokesman Eugene Blaum says these accidents were a result of "flash-freezing."

"The most difficult part about this is that a flash freeze like this, the moisture can freeze on contact with the pavement," he said.

Blaum said temperature and precipitation conditions were perfect in some spots to create a serious problem: a sheet of ice caused by light rain falling on cold surfaces.

The I-76 crash was one of more than a dozen reported on roads around the region on Sunday morning, some causing closures while others just blocked lanes.

Blaum said temperature and precipitation conditions were perfect in some spots to create a serious problem: a sheet of ice caused by light rain falling on cold surfaces.

A freezing rain advisory is in effect in the area through 10:00 a.m. but temperatures are forecast to rise into the 40s later Sunday.

Philadelphia police are asking drivers to stay off the major roads this morning.

SEPTA and NJ Transit are also reporting some delays due to the icy conditions. For the latest information, visit SEPTA.org and NJTransit.com.

A fire involving a SEPTA police golf cart broke out on the concourse at 15th Street. This resulted in SEPTA suspending train service at Suburban Station. Trains will temporarily begin and end at Jefferson and 30th Street stations.

PATCO says it is running on or close to normal. PATCO is honoring NJ Transit bus tickets between Camden (Broadway Station/Water Rand) and Philadelphia at this time. For more information, visit, http://www.ridepatco.org/

Philadelphia International Airport says to check your flight status with your airline or call 1-800-PHL-GATE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



The Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed eastbound and westbound between Morgantown and the Delaware River Bridge interchange. It reopened at noon with a reduced speed limit of 45mph.

In Claymont, Delaware, a State Trooper received minor injuries after his patrol car was struck while investigating a crash.

The trooper was on location on I-495 over Naamans Road taking a report on an ice-related accident when his vehicle was struck.

The trooper was taken by ambulance to Christiana Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

While on location covering this incident, the Action Cam captured a third crash on the ramp for Naamans Road.

PennDOT spokesman Eugene Blaum says these accidents were a result of \"flash-freezing.\"

\"The most difficult part about this is that a flash freeze like this, the moisture can freeze on contact with the pavement,\" he said.

Blaum said temperature and precipitation conditions were perfect in some spots to create a serious problem: a sheet of ice caused by light rain falling on cold surfaces.

The I-76 crash was one of more than a dozen reported on roads around the region on Sunday morning, some causing closures while others just blocked lanes.

Blaum said temperature and precipitation conditions were perfect in some spots to create a serious problem: a sheet of ice caused by light rain falling on cold surfaces.

A freezing rain advisory is in effect in the area through 10:00 a.m. but temperatures are forecast to rise into the 40s later Sunday.

Philadelphia police are asking drivers to stay off the major roads this morning.

SEPTA and NJ Transit are also reporting some delays due to the icy conditions. For the latest information, visit SEPTA.org and NJTransit.com.

A fire involving a SEPTA police golf cart broke out on the concourse at 15th Street. This resulted in SEPTA suspending train service at Suburban Station. Trains will temporarily begin and end at Jefferson and 30th Street stations.

PATCO says it is running on or close to normal. PATCO is honoring NJ Transit bus tickets between Camden (Broadway Station/Water Rand) and Philadelphia at this time. For more information, visit, http://www.ridepatco.org/

Philadelphia International Airport says to check your flight status with your airline or call 1-800-PHL-GATE.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 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