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Crash Closes Route 33 North

A busy highway in the Poconos is open again after a crash shut down the northbound lanes for nearly 10 hours.

A truck crash early Tuesday morning near the Monroe/Northampton county line left a huge mess all over the road.

The long cleanup led to miles of backed up traffic and disgruntled drivers.

Parts of Route 33 north near the Wind Gap exit in Northampton County looked more like a parking lot than a highway for much of the day.

Traffic started backing up after a tractor-trailer crashed around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

“A mess,” said Alicen Arnold of Bethlehem.

“You’re trapped,” said Russell Hardenber of Easton.

Emergency officials said the truck driver swerved to miss a deer then went off the road and crashed.

One of the trailers broke open, causing a load of vanilla extract to spill.  A Hazmat team had to come in to come in to clean up the mess.

“In its concentrated form, in five gallon pails where it is, it is a flammable material,” said Bruce Henry of the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency.

Meanwhile, drivers had to sit in long lines of traffic which was backed up for miles.  The traffic ended up testing every driver’s patience.

“I was on the highway for about an hour and a half today so it’s not that great,” said Matthew Liberatore of Nazareth.

“Almost two hours of sitting, creeping along the traffic,” added Arnold.

“I’m coming from work in Clinton, New Jersey and I’ve been sitting in traffic for about two hours,” said Naomi Taylor of Tobyhanna.

“We were just riding around and came down this way accidentally. We’re not going anywhere special. That’s how dumb we are,” said Hardenber.

Crews worked for ten hours to clean up the mess.

By 1 p.m.Tuesday traffic was moving again on Route 33 north.


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