Deadly six-vehicle crash on Schuylkill

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">1.23.2009 - Schuylkill Expressway - Just before noon on March 17, 2009, the Montgomery County District Attorney was set to announce homicide charges stemming from a deadly pileup involving a trucker on the Schuylkill Expressway in January.   For a time, drivers in both directions were stopped on the Schuylkill Expressway.</span></div>
January 23, 2009 7:11:58 PM PST
A crash involving a tractor trailer and a number of other vehicles caused major traffic problems on Interstate 76, the Schuylkill Expressway. It happened east of the Conshohocken curve at around 9:30 a.m.

Investigators believe traffic was stopped, a result of sun glare. Police say the truck, travelling at a high rate of speed around the curve, couldn't stop in time and slammed into the vehicles ahead.

In the course of the accident, a 1997Infiniti sedan, became pinned beneath both the tractor trailer and an SUV when all three vehicles collided. After the initial impact, three additional vehicles were struck. There were two occupants of the vehicle that was pinned beneath the tractor trailer and the SUV The driver of that vehicle was killed instantly.

The passenger was airlifted to Temple Hospital in what is described as "extremely critical" condition.

The driver of the truck was uninjured.

"He was taken to the local hospital to have blood drawn, and that blood will be tested for any alcohol or drugs," said Trooper Danea Alston of the PA State Police.

Police have not yet decided if the truck driver will face any charges, saying it depends on a number of circumstances. Besides the blood test, authorities will be checking the trucker's logs to see how long he had been driving. Police will also get an account from witnesses.

CLICK HERE for a slideshow of images from the crash scene.

Six vehicles were involved in this crash.

The eastbound lanes of the highway were closed for five hours, the westbound lanes were closed for three hours.

Police say it took so long because a life was lost, and they had to treat the pileup like a possible crime scene.

"We need to take measurements of the roadway, we need to take pictures, we have to do lots of interviews," said Trooper Alston. "It's a very, very serious incident and it's very, very time consuming."

Police urge everyone to use this incident to learn a lesson: If you come upon stopped traffic, leave some room, enough to get out of the way if you have to.

The Schuylkill Expressway is notorious for traffic jams and fender-benders, but surprisingly PennDOT says there have been only three reportable accidents on the stretch between Conshohocken and Gladwyne over the past five years.

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