At least 30 motorists were injured on Friday morning in massive chain-reaction crashes on an icy Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Philadelphia, according to news reports.
Traffic along the state's primary east-west highway was snarled for seven hours by a series of accidents involving multiple tractor-trailers and cars, but officials announced that all lanes had reopened by 4 p.m.
The crashes resulted in some serious injuries, but no patients are believed to have suffered life-threatening wounds, hospital officials told The Associated Press.
CBS Philly estimated the number of vehicles involved to be more than 100, including one particular pileup of 75 cars and big rigs.
“The worst accident I have seen in the 20 years I have been doing this,” traffic reporter Bob Kelly told CBS Philly.
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) February 14, 2014
Images from news helicopters and social media provided sobering views of the aftermath and close calls.
— RhiClarkPhoto (@rhiclarkphoto) February 14, 2014
— Stephen Jiwanmall (@SteveJiwanmall) February 14, 2014
— PzFeed Top News (@PzFeed) February 14, 2014
One of several accidents involving tractor trailers pic.twitter.com/yopp0z63qx
— Matt Rivers (@MattRiversCBS3) February 14, 2014
The Philadelphia area saw about a foot of snow overnight. Transportation officials restricted freeway speeds during the storm, but those limits were reportedly lifted for the morning commute.
Motorists told reporters the roadway was very slick when the accidents began occurring at about 8 a.m.
“I got on the turnpike, and it was nothing but ice," David Hill told AP. "I was very surprised at the condition of it. Normally the turnpike is one of the first roads that's cleared, but today I was driving on solid ice.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. Follow Jason Sickles on Twitter (@jasonsickles).