Inclement weather always adds an element of danger to roadways in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. As a result, many drivers exercise extra caution when the weather is bad. Sadly, speed and weather both appear to have factored into a recent fatal accident on Interstate 81 that involved multiple cars. Several people were taken to the hospital with injuries, and one 77-year-old woman died.
According to reports, the snowy conditions made driving difficult that Sunday morning. The chain of accidents began when a semi jack-knifed, blocking the northbound lanes of I-81. Another semi behind it was able to come to a stop. However, a car rear-ended the second semi and spun out of control. The series of collisions continued, resulting in four separate accidents involving nine vehicles.
The decedent was a passenger in a minivan that became the fourth vehicle involved in the chain reaction crash. Another passenger in the minivan, a 79-year-old man, was critically injured and transported to a hospital in Hershey. According to troopers who arrived at the scene, several others sustained serious injuries and were treated at local hospitals.
An accident like this that involves several drivers can be a challenge for investigators because it may be difficult to determine which of them may have acted in a negligent or reckless manner. Affected parties may benefit from speaking to a legal representative about their options under Pennsylvania law. If speed was a factor in the fatal accident, then the woman’s loved ones may be able to seek compensation for wrongful death against the driver deemed to be responsible. The injured victims from any of these crashes may be able to pursue personal injury claims as well. A successful suit may help the plaintiffs close this horrific chapter in their lives and move on.
Source: Your4State.com, UPDATE: One Dead in I-81 N Multi-Vehicle Accident in PA, Carmen Chau and Rose Lee, Nov. 24, 2013