8 people taken to hospital in crash that closed I-78 East nearly 9 hours

8 people taken to hospital in crash that closed I-78 East nearly 9 hours

A crash involving several tractor-trailers shuts Interstate 78 East on Wednesday July 28, 2021, in eastern Berks County.Courtesy photo | For lehighvalleylive.com

Wednesday’s crash that closed Interstate 78 East for nearly nine hours involved six vehicles, including four tractor-trailers, and sent eight people to the hospital, Pennsylvania State Police report.

The crash was reported about 5:20 p.m. at mile-marker 43.4 in Greenwich Township, Berks County, near the Lehigh County border.

A tractor-trailer attempting to merge from the left to right lane struck a passenger car, state police at Hamburg report. The truck driver then over-corrected and struck the center median barrier, causing the trailer to go airborne into the median, police said in a news release.

As that initial crash unfolded, an eastbound Dodge Ram came to a stop in the right lane and two more tractor-trailers came to a stop in the left lane, police said.

A fourth tractor-trailer then failed to stop and collided with the Dodge Ram and the two rigs stopped in the left lane, before striking vehicle debris from the initial crash and concrete median pieces and coming to a stop, according to the release.

The driver and three passengers in the passenger vehicle that was struck initially were taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township, as were the driver and passenger in the Dodge Ram and the drivers of two of the tractor-trailers. One was the tractor-trailer that failed to stop for the initial wreckage, and the other was one of the rigs that had stopped in the left lane, police said.

“After speaking with all of the involved individuals, there are no fatalities or life-threatening injuries at this time,” police wrote in the release.

The highway reopened about 2 a.m. Thursday, and the crash remains under investigation.

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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com.