Commuters recall time spent on I-76 after chain reaction crash

Crews remove the tractor-trailer involved in the accident from the Schuylkill Expressway on Tuesday, May 29, 2012.

May 29, 2012 2:40:35 PM PDT
The eastbound Schuylkill Expressway is back open to traffic after a chain reaction crash shut it down for hours.

The accident happened just before 11:30 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway just east of the Conshohocken Curve in Gladwyne.

When police arrived on the scene they found that one of the trucks had overturned, spilling its load on the roadway.

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A gas tank ruptured on one of the vehicles prompting response from hazmat crews to clean up the spill. No one was hurt.

The dump truck and tractor-trailer were removed just after 4:00 p.m.

For hours after the crash, motorists just sat on the Schuylkill Expressway wondering if they'd ever get to where they were trying to go.

"About 11:30, the traffic just slowed down 100 yards ahead of me and then we basically didn't move for about two hours," Rob Howard of Limerick, Pa. said.

Brianna Smith had four little girls in the back of her minivan and for a very long time, that minivan wasn't moving.

Westbound traffic was down to one lane and just crawled along.

"I was ready to put toothpicks in my eyes because I couldn't stand it," Joe Reaney of Exton, Pa. said.

Many motorists tried to make the best of a bad situation.

Two women wearing bikinis tossed around a Frisbee right on the highway.

Others sought out some shade along the side of the road.

Another woman walked her dog.

With temperatures soaring, they kept their engines running and the air on, but then started run really low on gas.

"I had a baby inside so I wanted to keep her cool," Hector Jerez of Bellview, New Jersey said.

Finally, State Police turned traffic around on the eastbound side and motorists were able to exit then deal with detours and come up with excuses for being late.

"We're supposed to be going to see the Liberty Bell. We're from Kentucky. We don't know where we are or what we're doing. It's been pretty crazy," Brianna Smith of Scottsville, Kentucky said.

The crash is still under investigation.

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