Icy conditions likely caused a pileup along one of the area’s busiest highways this morning that left the road closed for more than three hours and sent at least two people to the hospital.
State Police closed the Blue Route (Interstate 476) northbound from Exit 5 (U.S. Route 1 - Lima/Springfield) to Exit 9 (Route 3 - Broomall/Upper Darby). Police said there were reports of icy conditions on the roadway shortly after 5 a.m. when the crash happened.
The crash was one of many reported around the area as motorists dealt with black ice this morning.
Transportation and Transit
On the Blue Route, a box truck overturned and appeared to fall onto a car that was turned around in the wrong direction. Two other cars, including what appeared, to be a state trooper cruiser were also involved in the main wreck.
Police didn't immediately reveal the extent of injuries but it did appear at least one person was pinned in a car. It took rescuers more than one hour to free that person and rush him or her into a waiting ambulance.
Police later confirmed a state trooper was also treated and released for minor injuries.
The backup went all the way to the Media Bypass (Route 1). Police diverted traffic onto Route 1 so that motorists could avoid the crash.
"You can see the traffic is backed up for miles," said SkyForce10 photographer Dan Kent.
Hours later the road remained closed but some of the stuck motorists were able to squeeze by the scene. Finally around 8:15 a.m. the roadway was reopened.
The early morning darkness made it hard to see icy spots on area roadways as temps hovered at or below freezing before daybreak, according to NBC10 First Alert Weather meteorologist Bill Henley.
PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum said there were reports of some icy spots on area roads but that PennDOT only received a request for a salt truck after the cars crashed. That truck eventually rolled through around 6:30 a.m.
NBC10's Monique Braxton reported that many area roads and sidewalks were icy.
There were reports of crashes on other area roadways. Over in New Jersey the state police tweeted that there were 121 crashes and 136 motorist aids on state roads Thursday morning. It wasn't clear how many of those crashes were due to ice.
This crash comes less than one week after a massive ice-related pileup along the Pennsylvania Turnpike that involved up to 100 cars. PennDOT also closed a stretch of I-80 in Central Pennsylvania on Tuesday following crashes caused by possible freezing rain.