Two Separate Crashes Close Part of Interstate 80

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KIDDER TOWNSHIP -- Two separate crashes just miles from each other on Interstate 80 closed the highway's westbound lanes for a time Tuesday afternoon.

State police say the stalled traffic from the first crash led to a driver slamming into a stopped tractor trailer in the second crash.

A pickup truck with a severely smashed in cab was towed from Interstate 80 after it crashed into the back of a trailer tractor at the Hickory Run exit (274) in Carbon County.

The westbound lanes were shut down as crews cleared the scene.

"45 minutes not moving a muscle, not moving a cent. I heard every song on my cd, two albums," said Mikhail Lawrence of New York.

This was the second crash on the interstate to shut down both lanes. The first crash happened just a few miles away past the White Haven exit.

Emergency crews blocked the on-ramp to the highway and traffic was detoured onto Route 940.

State police say the second crash happened because traffic was stopped due to that first crash. The driver of the pickup truck didn't stop and slammed into the big rig.

Troopers say that driver was flown to a hospital in the Lehigh Valley.

State police say the crash doesn't appear to be weather related, but as night fell, PennDOT crews were heading out to treat the highways in anticipation of some wintry weather ahead.

A PennDOT spokesperson said their focus is getting the roads treated right away because they are expecting both snow and rain and they want to prevent the roads from freezing over.

PennDOT has lowered the speed limit on Interstates 81, 80, and 180 to 45 mph.