A tanker truck carrying jet fuel struck a pair of stopped cars on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in southeastern Pennsylvania, resulting in a fiery crash that killed two people and injured another and closed the highway for hours, authorities said.
State police said the crash occurred in the northbound lanes of I-476 on the turnpike’s Northeast Extension just before 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Worcester Township, Montgomery County.
Troopers said a vehicle with a flat tire came to a stop in the right lane of the highway and another vehicle behind it stopped and the driver activated hazard lights. The truck was unable to stop and struck both vehicles, and all three became engulfed in flames, police said.
The truck driver and the driver of the first vehicle struck were killed, while the other driver sustained minor injuries, state police spokesperson Myles Snyder told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
WPVI-TV reported that aerial video showed a scorched truck cab along with two other burned vehicles and fire crews spraying foam onto the tanker. The station also reported that some residents who live right off the turnpike were evacuated from their homes.
The turnpike was closed in both directions as police investigated and to allow removal of the vehicles and debris, police said. Traffic diverted at the previous exits in both direction, with drivers trapped in the backlog urged to stay inside their vehicles “due to the severity of this incident.” The center barrier was removed to allow people to turn around.
Southbound lanes were reopened Saturday evening and northbound lanes had reopened by early Sunday.