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Two Teens Dead In Tractor Trailer Accident

Mar 1, 2019Dan Doyle Law GroupTruck Accident

Authorities say that weather was a contributing factor in a string of crashes along Interstate 80 just west of the Route 19 exit in East Lackawannock Township over the weekend, including a tractor trailer crash that ultimately took the lives of two teens. The accident occurred on Sunday night, says Pennsylvania State Police, killing Hickory High School students Danielle Nelson, age 15, and Alexis Myers, age 16. Two other teens were seriously injured; both were hospitalized and said to be in critical condition. All four teens were wearing their safety belts at the time of the crash. The driver of the first semi was treated at an area hospital with broken bones.

Police say that a snow squall caused deteriorating conditions that contributed to the accident. The teens were riding in an SUV around 6:40 p.m. when it slid out of control due to snow accumulated on the highway, colliding with one tractor trailer before spinning around, stopping on the roadway, and being hit head on with a second tractor trailer.

The girls were part of several vehicles traveling on Interstate 80 together. The group was headed to a Young Life religious event to be held at Grove City College. Another vehicle in the group slid off the road and into the median, but no injuries were reported from that incident. The accident backed up traffic for miles, with the eastbound lane of I80 closing for several hours for accident investigation and cleanup.

The particular stretch of I80 where the accident occurred is a particularly dangerous one, according to Mercer East End Fire Chief Bill Finley. “We have ten miles of Interstate 80 and there were crashes throughout all of those ten miles, plus further east and also west of where we cover,” noted Finley.

Driving in snowy conditions can be daunting for some drivers, particularly less-experienced teen drivers. AAA reports that winter storms, inclement weather and poor road conditions contribute to nearly 500,000 crashes and upwards of 2,000 deaths on the nation’s roadways each winter. AAA recommends that drivers stay safe during winter weather by:

  • Driving slowly; tires get less traction on snow and ice, so adjust speed accordingly.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly too; give extra time to stop at traffic lights and going into curbs.
  • Add five to six seconds to following times to give a bigger buffer of safety for stopping.
    Avoid using cruise control.
  • Do not apply extra gas going up hills; instead, try to build up inertia before reaching the hill, and do not stop going up the hill.
  • Stop only when you must. It takes more inertia to begin moving from a complete stop than to stay moving while you are still rolling. When possible, slow down when approaching stop lights, giving the light time to change so that you can roll through it.
  • Stay weather aware. If the weather is truly bad, sometimes the best option is just to stay home.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, give our Philadelphia truck accident attorney a call at 215-987-3730 to discuss your case details.