Driver Cut From Cab Following Tractor Trailer Crash on I-81 in Luzerne County

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It took emergency responders nearly two hours to get the driver out after a tractor trailer rolled on Interstate 81 in Luzerne County Tuesday morning.

Hanover Township Fire Chief Joe Temarantz said this was actually one of the most difficult rescues of his career.

“Everything was upside down, so if you took a tractor trailer and flipped it, that's what we dealt with. The roof was collapsed in on the driver. The driver was pinned in the vehicle,”  Temarantz said.

First responders from Wilkes-Barre Township, Hanover Township, and several others from the area worked to get the driver out, all while it was raining sideways.

Chief Temarantz said it was almost a blessing in disguise that the driver was hauling sand and it went everywhere.

“It kind of actually helped the situation a little bit in our case. It wasn't all leaves and mud. It was sand,” Temarantz said.

During the rescue, two firefighters were inside the cab with the driver for two hours, talking to him to keep him calm.

“The one guy kept reassuring him that we were going to get him out and just kept in touch with him to make sure he was OK, and when we started moving stuff around, was he in any type of different pain than what he was having at that time? It was just total communication,” Temarantz said.

State police are still trying to find the cause of the crash.

Troopers have not released many details of the crash, including the condition of the driver. However, Temarantz said the man is doing OK.


  • Nate Goble

    it’s the beginning of the valley carpocalypse.

    People are too distracted today to drive properly.
    You can throw the best safety features into a car but you can’t replace the nut behind the wheel.

    Glad this guy is ok

  • lickerblisters

    How do you folks in the Scranton area ever get to work on time? Do you have to leave two hours early everyday? Maybe your employers allow you an hour and a half window. I couldn’t imagine.

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