There was a traffic mess on Interstate 81 southbound in Luzerne County Tuesday evening.
It started first with a car fire on the off-ramp headed towards Nanticoke; that was followed by a four-car crash that state police believe was caused by drivers distracted by the fire!
Flames shot out of this car parked on the off ramp from Interstate 81 south at exit 164 headed towards Nanticoke just outside of Wilkes-Barre.
Car owner Daniel Boone says he was headed south when his car started making funny noises.
Boone stopped when his dog started barking and acting odd.
“If it wouldn`t have been for the dog, because I was going to try start it again, and if he wouldn`t have whined I probably would have tried it,” said Boone. “We just got out of the car when flames came up over the hood’.”
As fire crews brought the roaring fire under control, emergency crews had another headache on their hands just north of the fire scene.
A four car crash in the southbound lanes that state police say happened when a driver on the northbound side crossed over the median to avoid traffic stopped in front of him.
Troopers believe traffic northbound was slowing as drivers watched the car fire.
“I was really afraid that this thing was going to burst and then I saw these two other nuts, rubber necking and slam into each other really hard,” said Boone.
Lisa Deschak was stopped in the car fire traffic and witnessed the entire crash.
“One car came down and then two other cars came down and hit that minivan, one car spun and that was it,” said Deschak.
Thomas Vond was the driver of that mini-van.
“We were headed southbound to go home to Hazleton and the car came from across northbound lane and come right into us,” said Vond.
The chaos on the highway caused a back-up in the southbound lanes that stretched for roughly four miles.
But luckily, investigators say no one was injured.
“I glad that nobody else got hurt but it was pretty wild, if you got a clip of it I want a video because I told my friends I`m going to put this on Facebook because that`s my best car ever,” said Boone.
State police say the multi-car crash is an on-going investigation.