Snow causes 17-mile closure of I-78

January 19, 2009 8:39:03 PM PST
"I started pumping the brakes, couldn't do nothing about it. I just had enough time to say guys hold on we're going to hit."A snow squall turned I-78 in Berks County into a blinding sheet of ice. When a tractor trailer jackknifed vehicle after vehicle piled up. Bob Gibbs of South Ryan, Virginia, his wife and 4 young children were right in the middle of it.

"We kept getting hit from behind. Car piled up on top of our car, it lasted for aboutg 25-30 seconds then it was chaos."

Drivers and people who escaped the wreckage began immediately helping others. Paramedicis rushed several people to local hospitals. The Gibbs family was uninjured but their car was another story.

"It's gone totaled yeah there was car on top of it completely destroyed."

Westbound I-78 was shut down for nearly 5 hours. Traffic backed up for miles and cars began running out of gas.

"There's a lady out there her oxygen is running low so their still out scattering around trying to figue out who needs help trying to get them fuel and trying to get them moving as fast as possible," said Hamburg Mayor Roy Del Rosario.

The Gibbs family and most of the crash victims were brought to an old gymnasium in Hamburg. A team of volunteers and local officials began providing food and other essential services.

"They've been wonderful unbelievable they've helped us with food, diapers, hotels, car seats they've been wonderful," Linda said. "Terribly scary but we're thankful for all the EMS workers, truck drivers and all the people here."

We told you several people were taken to the hospital but we're told there are no serious injuries.

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