CLARION, Pa. (KDKA) — Two people are dead, and several others were injured after a mutli-vehicle pile-up Wednesday afternoon in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 in Clarion County.
The accident happened at Mile Marker 65 in Clarion Township around 1:30 p.m.
State police say nine tractor trailers and nine passenger vehicles were involved.
Multiple police and fire departments and EMS were called to the scene, including Pennsylvania State Police, the Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT.
“We had two back to back squalls come through the county, made visibility very difficult,” Vern Smith, the director of Emergency Services for Clarion County, said.
The westbound side of I-80 had to be shut down between Exit 70 and Exit 64.
According to state police, both victims were killed when they got out of their vehicles.
There’s no word on the specific number or conditions of those who were injured.
The accident reportedly happened during Lake Effect snow showers.
The National Weather Service reports the near stationary squall dropped visibility to near zero.
They also warn that the wind driven snow will ice over previously treated roads creating dangerous driving conditions.
The squall continued to affect parts of Venango, Clarion, and Jefferson counties into the evening.
PennDOT issued warnings throughout the day about possible squalls, urging drivers to be cautious.
By Wednesday night, the road will be closed much of the afternoon and into the night. Traffic was being detoured off of I-80 at Exit 70 – Strattanville to Route 322 West to Clarion.
Earlier reports that three people had died were later clarified by state police. One of the fatalities was reportedly killed in an unrelated crash on a nearby road.
State Police in Clarion continue to investigate the crash.
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