NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- One man is dead after an eight-car pileup on Interstate 80 near Milton that closed part of the highway for hours.
State police say initially, two cars and a tractor-trailer crashed in the eastbound lanes because of heavy rain around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Minutes later, four more tractor-trailers and a truck crashed in the westbound lanes. Earl McCormick, 74, of Berwick, died in that second crash.
I-80 eastbound and westbound were closed between the Milton/Williamsport exit (212) and the Route 254 exit (215) because of the wreck, according to PennDOT. The eastbound lanes reopened around 3:20 p.m. The westbound lanes remained closed until just before midnight.
"I feel really bad about anybody who gets hurt on the road. My heart goes out to their family," said J.D. Stenzel, a tractor-trailer driver for Trans Freight Express.
Traffic was backed up along the interstate for miles. It took Newswatch 16 an hour to drive 11 miles towards Milton.
Dennis Bobeck of Doylestown was driving along the interstate around the time of the crash. He says it was pouring.
"You have to slow down when it pours. People actually speed up when it rains, but you can't. You have to either slow down or pull over," Bobeck said.
Interstate 80 westbound was shut down for three miles where the accident happened. There's a Flying J truck stop along the detour on Route 254. Employees there say they've never seen it this busy.
"People have been coming here. A lot of people have been coming here. It's been really slammed. We had a lot of sales and a lot of food too going out," said employee Jacob Guthrie.
The westbound lanes reopened just before midnight.
Check real-time traffic conditions at WNEP Traffic Tracker.