When winter storms are deadly: See the disturbing sixty-six car pileup
Like the classic holiday song asks: “What do I care how much it may storm? I got my love to keep me warm.” You may care how much it may storm after looking at the shocking photos of a horrific traffic collision in Clinton County Pennsylvania.
On a snowy Pennsylvania interstate, one truck skidded out of control at around 3:00 on Wednesday afternoon during Winter Storm Gail. The resulting crash on Interstate 80 involved sixty-six vehicles including fifty-five shipping trucks and eleven cars. Police responded promptly to the crash and traffic was rerouted.
Drivers & passengers endured numerous injuries, with one person dying in the pileup. Another passenger died at the scene due to a medical issue, though it was not related to injuries sustained during the crash. “A number of injured were transported to area hospitals for treatment for a variety of injuries” police said in a statement and went on to thank, “all of the agencies who assisted and continue to assist at the scene.”
The accident stretched over a mile on the westbound side of the interstate, which was closed the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday afternoon, with police, contractors, and tow trucks trying to clear the road. The eastbound side of the highway was also shut down to allow police and contractors to clear traffic.
Driver Justin Majewski was ten minutes from his home when the crash happened. “The trucks that were behind me, with the way the snow was falling, it was almost white-out. They couldn’t see to stop in time, and they were unable to stop. Kind of hit the back of my car and pushed me probably 50 to 100 yards into the back of the truck that was in front of me that was stopped,” Majewski told a CNN affiliate station.
Majewski said he could feel the car’s vibration behind him. “As I was sitting in my car on the phone with 911, I could still feel the cars from behind impacting and feel the vibrations going through the whole pile-up.” He was there for nearly five hours before he was taken to the hospital.
ADVISORY: Due to a multi-car collision on the Henry Hudson Bridge, southbound lanes have been closed. Please avoid the area.⁰
Again, avoid any unnecessary travel during this storm. pic.twitter.com/sYSIn7mh48
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 17, 2020
Not the only one
Further north, a nineteen-car pileup on the Henry Hudson Parkway in New York City injured six people on Wednesday night due to the snowstorm. The multi-vehicle crash shut down the parkway. Police responded to the scene after an initial call was made around 6:10 pm.
Nine out of the nineteen vehicles had to be towed off the Henry Hudson bridge. Police report four out of the six injuries were serious but not life threatening. The remaining two injuries were minor. Nevertheless all six injured parties were transported to area hospitals. Lanes reopened shortly after 9:30 p.m.
In a video posted to the NYPD News Twitter account, NYPD Deputy Inspector Dyce warned citizens from the scene to avoid traveling during the storm. “If you don’t need to be out, stay home,” they said. Over 600 car crashes were reported in New York state on Wednesday night.
Central Park NY1Snow pic.twitter.com/kt6eMOIhy1
— Dana LeCoq (@DanaMLeCoq) December 17, 2020
The state of other states
It is being reported that more snow fell in New York City on Wednesday than the entirety of last winter. Central Park received six and a half inches of snow. Some parts of the state received over 40 inches from Winter Storm Gail.
Other states experienced high numbers of traffic collisions on Wednesday night & Thursday morning. More than 350 crashes were reported in Maryland by the early hours of Thursday morning. Also in Maryland, a Spirit Airlines plane almost crashed at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) when its wheels skidded against the runway.
Virginia, the most southern part of the devastation, reportedly had more than 200 crashes Wednesday night, resulting in one death.