The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 21, 2014

Police cite multiple causes for Turnpike crashes

HARRISBURG — A series of accidents that injured at least 30 people and snarled traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia last week were caused by motorists driving too fast, slick pavement, poor visibility from the sun’s glare and tire spray, state police said today.

Capt. Greg Bacher said in a release that officers expect to issue at least 10 citations for traveling too fast for conditions.

“It’s sometimes impossible to keep the highways completely ice and slush free, so drivers should expect the unexpected,” Bacher said.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission also announced it has begun a full review of the Feb. 14 accidents, which occurred about seven miles east of the Willow Grove interchange in Bucks County.

The turnpike said its review would take several weeks to complete. A legislative hearing on the matter and other weather-related vehicle crashes also is being planned.

Investigators are assembling a timeline and collecting information about communications, response times and other factors from emergency responders, turnpike employees, victims and witnesses.

“We absolutely want to understand if there was something we could have done that may have prevented or somehow mitigated the crashes,” said turnpike chief executive Mark Compton. “Plus, we need to consider if there’s something different we could be doing ... in the future.”

Officials said most of the injuries were minor.

 

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