Fiery Crash Shuts Down I-80 East for Hours

A fiery crash in Luzerne County backed up traffic for miles Tuesday on Interstate 80 eastbound.

State police said two tractor-trailers collided with each other just before the Conyngham Exit (256) causing one of the trucks to catch fire.

Police detoured traffic from the interstate 10 miles back from the crash site.

Hours after a fiery crash on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 traffic was finally squeezing by on the shoulder.

“Pretty bad, I’ve been sitting in it as long as that guy,” said Todd Styer of Millville. “I’ve been following this guy in front of me the whole time.”

Both lanes had been shut down after the crash between two tractor trailers just before the Conyngham exit in Luzerne County, trapping motorists.

“There was no movement until about 4 p.m. and then we crawled along, you know,” said Kenneth Donman of Allentown. “Pretty much just sat back there from two to four then we crawled slowly since.”

State police say a rig hauling dog food rear-ended another tractor-trailer causing the truck carrying dog food to jack-knife.

Firefighters said fuel spilled from that truck and caused it to catch fire.

Lisa Stickley lives near the interstate. She said when she heard all the noise, she knew something was wrong.

“I was in the house and it just sounded like an explosion and then about five minutes later I heard two more explosions so I figured that was too many fires for this interstate,” said Stickley.

Fire crews say the winds caused flames to spread to a wooded area nearby.

Stickley said she was concerned to see the wooded area on fire but said crews got it out quickly.

“As dry as the weather is and with the wind, I wanted to make sure it didn’t get in, because there’s houses back here,” Stickley added.

State police said both drivers will be cited since the driver of the truck carrying dog food wasn’t looking at the highway at the time of the crash and didn’t notice the other truck had swerved into his lane.

Police said both drivers were uninjured.

Looking at the damage left over, stuck drivers on I-80 said they were glad to hear that.

“Ahead of us, that’s a bad day,” said Robin Styer. “This isn’t so bad waiting.”

State police said the driver hauling dog food will be cited with careless driving and the other tractor-trailer driver will be cited with failing to stay in his lane.

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