Five Dead and 60 Injured in Pileup on Pennsylvania Turnpike
UPDATED Sunday at 4:50 p.m. CST
Mount Pleasant Township, PA – At least five people were killed and 60 more injured in a horrific multiple vehicle pileup along the Pennsylvania Turnpike early Sunday morning.
According to Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesperson Carl DeFebo, the mass casualty crash occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. along the westbound lanes of the Turnpike near mile post 86, which is about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh.
DeFebo reported the deadly accident involved “two tractor-trailers, a tour bus and passenger vehicles.”
Five people were pronounced dead on the scene and 60 more were taken to three nearby hospitals, according to DeFebo.
About 60 patients have been transported to three area hospitals in Westmoreland County due to multi-vehicle crash on @PA_Turnpike at milepost 86 westbound. Coroner has confirmed five fatalities. An 86-mile stretch of Turnpike still closed from New Stanton to Breezewood exits.
— Carl DeFebo (@cdefebo) January 5, 2020
The identities of the deceased have not yet been released.
Images from the scene reveal the mangled wreckage of the tractor-trailers as well as a tour bus turned over on its side.
According to a report by ABC News, the bus is owned by Ohio Coach Inc., which advertises “daily express bus service” between New York, Columbus, Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, Dayton, Springfield, Vandalia and Wheeling.
A company representative confirmed to ABC the bus was traveling from New York City to Columbus, OH at the time of the crash.
The big rigs involved in the crash were hauling for FedEx Ground and UPS, according to multiple reports.
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In a statement to Fox News, a FedEx spokesperson said the company extends “our deepest condolences to the families of the individuals involved in this accident.”
“There is no higher priority for FedEx Ground than safety, and we are cooperating fully with investigating authorities at this time,” the spokesperson added.
Pennsylvania State Police investigators say the tour bus was on a downhill curve when it struck an embankment and was then hit from behind by the big rigs.
Two other passenger vehicles were involved, police say.
Local news outlet WPXI is reporting investigators do not believe weather was a factor in the crash.
According to that same report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is dispatching a team of investigators to the scene.
WPXI is also reporting victims range in age from 7 to 67 years old.
DeFebo says authorities have closed all lanes of an 86-mile stretch of the Turnpike from New Stanton to Breezewood exits.
Travelers can expect a “prolonged closure,” DeFebo advised.
As of 5 p.m. local time on Sunday, the state Turnpike Commission announced eastbound lanes are once again open, but westbound lanes remain closed.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to bring you updates on this is developing story as new information becomes available.
Photos courtesy of KDKA-TV via NNS
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