Turnpike reopened after fatal crash

March 14, 2008 10:49:46 AM PDT
A chain reaction crash sparked a deadly scene on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, leaving one person dead. It happened just after 3 a.m. in the westbound lanes near the Valley Forge exit, and involved two tractor trailers and a pickup. For a time, the stretch of highway in Upper Merion Township was shutdown, right in the heart of the morning rush.

A pickup truck was smashed against a wall - the cab of a Fed Ex tractor-trailer was mangled and pieces of metal and glass were scattered all along the highway.

State Police say the Fed Ex driver caused it by rear ending the pickup. Another tractor-trailer owned by the Xtra Hauling Company was clipped. The Fed Ex driver would not come out of this alive. Authorities pronounced him dead at the scene. The pickup driver was rushed to the hospital.

The cleanup effort and the accident investigation led to backups not only on the Turnpike in both directions, but also on other highways and secondary roadways from King of Prussia to Norristown.

Six hours had passed before crews were able to load up the wreckage and haul it away. Police say the Fed Ex driver, a 62-year-old man from Harrisburg, failed to slow down with traffic ahead of him causing him to smash into the pickup truck and the other tractor trailer.

His name will be released after police notify close relatives of his death.