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Deadly I-78 Pileup Kills Three, Injures Dozens

By: Anapol Weiss

A multi-vehicle pileup killed three people and sent dozens to hospitals after a passing snow squall suddenly diminished visibility on Interstate 78 near Harrisburg on February 13.

The crash involved at least 50 commercial and private vehicles, and more than 40 people were transported to several area hospitals, CBS reported.

The tractor trailer accident attorneys at Anapol Weiss have seen this scenario happen before. “These snow squalls are well known to come about suddenly in Central Pennsylvania,” said firm Partner Jim Ronca. “We have represented victims involved in a dozen similar pileups, all of which have had the same starting point. Sadly, these devastating accidents continue to happen when winter weather warnings are missed or ignored.”

Ronca explains that it’s incumbent on tractor-trailer drivers to heed warnings early and take immediate action to avoid an accident. “Paying attention to warnings or slowing down upon first snow is essential for big trucks, which seem to be at the front of the recent pileup in photos,” he said. “Several of the trucks are jack-knifed, meaning they lost traction despite antilock brakes and the trailer pushed the tractor around. Once that happens, the driver has no steering control and the truck becomes a massive missile of destruction.”

The next steps can be critical in protecting those who were injured and the families of victims who died.

Ronca urges that early investigation by an experienced law firm is essential in pileup cases. Skid marks, yaw marks, gouges and debris locations will help unravel what happened and who caused the collision. These important pieces of evidence may disappear shortly after this type of accident.

Further, when commercial vehicles are involved in multi-vehicle collisions, their insurance companies have investigators on the scene within hours. “The only way to assure the accuracy of what they record is for victims to have their own investigators on site quickly,” Ronca said.

Anapol Weiss Partner Christopher Marzzacco stressed the importance for those involved to avoid speaking to any insurance companies until they have hired an experienced lawyer. “Victims and their families will likely have questions about insurance coverage, payment of medical bills, lost wages and possibly about funeral and other related costs,” Marzzacco said. “A lawyer can answer those questions and can guide victims through this difficult time, while keeping the insurance companies at bay.”

Contact our firm for assistance if you or a loved one was involved in the recent I-78 pileup. Anapol Weiss has handled many multi-vehicle pileups and we are well prepared to move forward with your case using the latest principles of accident investigation and reconstruction.