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Troopers say weather factored into 40 vehicle pileup on Pennsylvania’s I-81

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Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) say that a thunderstorm — along with drivers traveling too fast for conditions — led to a Thursday afternoon pileup involving dozens of vehicles.

The pileup occured around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, on I-81 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.

Troopers say that nearly 40 vehicles were involved in crashes in the southbound lanes of I-81 near the Fort Indiantown Gap exit.

PSP said that the pileup was made up of three separate crashes between mile markers 86.4 and 97.5. Once crash involved 13 vehicles, a second involved another 13 vehicles including seven semi trucks, and a third crash involved 8 vehicles. A passenger bus carrying 30 people was also involved in the pileup.

Twelve people were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. None of the injuries sustained in the pileup are thought to be life-threatening.

PSP said that some people involved in the pileup were going too fast for the conditions caused by a thunderstorm passing through.

“The motoring public, seeing that now there’s heavy rain and we can only see 50 yards, we need to slow down, turn our headlights on, create even more following distance than we did because when you have to hit the hooks on a wet roadway, bad things can happen,” PSP Trooper Dave Beohm told WGAL.

Southbound I-81 was closed for about eight hours for cleanup and investigation, but all lanes have reopened.

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