Four people were killed in a major crash involving a tour bus, semi-trucks, and several other vehicles on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the western part of the state early Sunday, according to officials.
The crash occurred at 3:30 a.m. Sunday in the westbound lanes of the highway in Mount Pleasant Township, some 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh city center.
Spokesman for Pennsylvania Turnpike Carl DeFebo confirmed fatalities on Twitter, saying the turnpike is likely to be “prolonged closure”
According to DeFebo, the 60 people were transferred to three area hospitals in Westmoreland County.
A dispatcher from Westmoreland County 911 told KDKA-TV that one tour bus, several semi-trucks and an unknown number of passenger vehicles were involved in the accident.
Images from the scene on the highway display mangled wreckage.
The spokesperson for the turnpike told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that during the accident, the tour bus flipped on its side.
The collision resulted in a 86-mile stretch of road closing in both directions on the motorway between Breezewood and New Stanton.
Entrance on the Breezewood Interchange exit 161 is urgently expected from vehicles traveling east to use Route 119 south-east of the US 40 on Interstate 68 east (in Cumberland, Maryland).
WB Detour at Breezewood: I-70 east (Washington, DC) (24 miles) to exit 1A (68/40 West, Cumberland, Maryland) (65.5 miles) to Exit 14B (Uniontown) following 40 west to US 119 north (63 miles) to Exit 1B (PA Turnpike). Re-enter the PA Turnpike @New Stanton. #paturnpike @PA_Turnpike https://t.co/kn3qMrtgAv
— PA Turnpike Alerts (@PATurnpikeAlert) January 5, 2020
Westbound travelers are advised to use Route 30 west to Interstate 99 north to US Route 22 west to Route 66 south and re-enter the turnpike at the New Stanton exit at exit 75 in.
Whether the weather was a factor in the crash was not clear. Light unknown precipitation and air temperature just below freezing were reported in the National Weather Service forecast for Westmoreland County early Sunday.
WPXI announced that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending investigators into the crash scene.