Crash Renews Safety Concerns In South Abington Township

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SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- State police say a tractor-trailer driver from Canada smashed through a guide rail on Interstate 81 southbound Thursday morning, barreling down an embankment, clipping a pole, downing lines and tearing through bushes before stopping at a pediatrician's office along Layton Road in South Abington Township.

"Being so close right here if it happened right now, we just came with our newborn so it's scary because you don't realize, I travel this road a lot and just it could happen at any point I guess,” said Jamie Halloran of Clarks Summit.

Layton Road was closed while crews dealt with the mess, snarling traffic and causing delays as school bus drivers and other commuters looked for detours.

The latest crash has renewed fears for some about living so close to the interstate.

In 2013, an interstate wreck left a rig dangling off I-81 over Layton Road.

"We drove up and saw half of the truck was on Layton and half was on 81 and fortunately it seems to keep happening on the overpass, I thought it was because of the ice, but it seems not to be because it the summer it's happening here,” said Matthew Benjamin of South Abington Township.

PennDOT officials say when something like this happens, they always consider whether changes should be made for safety, but there's not much they can do about driver error.

Still, some people would like something to be done.

"It can be greatly improved,” said Kathleen Russ of South Abington Township.

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