At least five people were killed in four separate accidents in Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including a nearly 60-car pileup on Interstate 76, as slippery road conditions caused dangerous conditions throughout the Delaware Valley Sunday morning.
One life was lost on I-76 in a nasty pileup involving 56 vehicles -- which snarled traffic for about seven hours and injured 30 people. State police in Philadelphia said 31-year-old Eric Blau of Philadelphia was killed when he got out of his disabled vehicle on Interstate 76 at about 6:40 a.m. Sunday and was hit by another vehicle. Officials said his vehicle was one of the first struck in a series of crashes.
"Thank God I had my seatbelt on," said Victor Moye, of Pottstown.
Moye said he was approaching the exit for King of Prussia when he noticed cars ahead of him stopped.
"I'm pushing my brakes and my car just started slipping into the cars," he said. "As I hit the car, a car comes behind me and hits me. I'm swinging around four, five times as other cars are hitting that car and hitting me as well."
Moye, along with the 29 others injured in the fatal crash, was transported by bus to a local hospital for treatment. He suffered minor injuries to his back and shoulder.
Meanwhile another collision in the southbound lanes of Interstate 476 near Marple Road in Delaware County occurred, claiming the lives of Thomas Brennan of Lansdale, Pennsylvania and Jason Anderson of Dover, Delaware while injuring several others, police said. The accident happened around 7:30 a.m.
One other person was killed in a single car crash on Route 55 in Gloucester County. The crash occurred near Exit 53 in Mantua Township around 8 a.m.
Finally, in Pike County in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Pablo Pons, 34, of Honesdale was killed after his vehicle overturned on an icy road and he was thrown from it and hit by a commercial vehicle. A 12-year-old boy also thrown from the vehicle was critically injured.
Another major pileup -- involving 27 cars -- snarled a major artery between New Jersey and Philadelphia. A car hit a median on the Walt Whitman Bridge, sparking the multi-vehicle accident, which involved a Delaware River Port Authority police cruiser.
No serious injuries were reported in the bridge crash, however the pileup forced officials to shut down the Walt Whitman for about four hours.
The Delaware River Port Authority also closed all other bridges between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including the Ben Franklin Bridge.
SEPTA canceled early bus service in Philadelphia but resumed service late in the morning.
Philadelphia International Airport reported some cancellations due to conditions.
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The deadly incidents in our region are just a sample of the dangerous conditions that led to multiple accidents throughout the Mid-Atlantic and around the country Sunday.
A swath from Pennsylvania to Maine was under a freezing rain advisory, according to the National Weather Service.
In New York City and its northern suburbs, the dangerous conditions forced sections of roads to close all over the area. City authorities received so many 911 calls related to the weather that New Jersey sent 10 ambulances to the city to assist emergency responders.
Cars inched along on local roads, where braking at stoplights meant unexpected swerves as drivers tried to get traction on slippery surfaces.
In Connecticut, an 88-year-old Woodbridge woman died in one of 40 crashes in New Haven Sunday morning amid treacherous, icy conditions.
Meanwhile, ice and heavy fog caused a pile-up involving 70 cars and 17 semi-trucks in Oregon on Saturday night, according to Oregon State Police. At least 12 people were injured in the crash, police said.