MERCER CO., Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania State Police say the area where an accident occurred a little after 11 p.m. Saturday night has reopened.
PSP troopers said a portion of the westbound lanes on Interstate 80 near mile marker 22 (close to Grove City) was closed throughout the night until the scene was cleared Sunday morning. The area was closed for about nine hours.
According to the news release, a tractor-trailer was travelling westbound on I-80 when the driver lost control, drove off the left side of the road into the median strip (almost entering the eastbound lanes) and back into the westbound lanes.
The tractor-trailer then jack-knifed as it was re-entering the westbound lanes, closing them off.
A second tractor-trailer then hit the first one after driving at a high rate of speed down the traffic-filled westbound lanes, unable to avoid the first tractor-trailer.
The driver of the first tractor-trailer had gotten out of the vehicle before the second one came. The second tractor-trailer hit the first one, which then hit its own driver as he was standing outside.
The second tractor-trailer uncontrollably continued westbound, crossing the median strip and resting at the far side of the eastbound lanes, in a ditch.
The first driver was flown from the scene to the hospital.
Jacob Halatek is an EMT from Struthers.
He was on his way home from a wedding when the accident happened in front of him. He got out to check on the truck driver, when a second semi came barreling through, hitting the cab of the jack-knifed truck.
“He jumped over the median and went into the east bound lanes,” Halatek said. “After that happened, I went over to the first truck that got hit and started treating the driver there. He was coughing up a lot of blood, so it was pretty much making sure he didn’t move at all and making sure he wasn’t choking on his own blood.”