Interstate 81 was shut down in Pennsylvania on Saturday after a snow squall drastically altered driving conditions in a matter of seconds. 

The incident happened on February 19th at around 1:30 p.m. in Schuylkill County near exit 138. 

According to PA Homepage News, the snow squall caused near-zero visibility on northbound I-81, causing a chain reaction crash involving 50 vehicles that sent five people to the hospital. 

The initial chain-reaction crash involved 3 semi trucks and 10 passenger vehicles, and then four more crashes occurred as a result of that initial incident. 

“It was pretty bad, like, you couldn’t see, like, ten feet in front of you and, like, it was just coming down hard,” said Nick Stefanowicz, a motorist who was driving on the highway at the time of the crash. 

“Well, that snow squall alert actually came through on my phone, and probably within 5, 10 minutes later we were coming out here,” said Cheif Robert Leshko of the McAdoo Fire Company.

“Even if you were going 10 miles an hour on this road when I went to stop this fire truck, I started sliding across the road here and I was only going 2 miles an hour,” he continued. 

“I think a lot of this was just the snow squall coming through and the road conditions just going from good, as we’re seeing now, too bad in a matter of 30 seconds to a minute.”

The incident was finally cleared around 7 p.m. that evening. 

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