An 18 car pileup left three people dead and several more injured during a snow squall on a highway in Pennsylvania on January 7. According to Fox News, the multi-car accident was a chain reaction that was caused by poor visibility on Interstate 80 in Clarion Township. Two of the people killed died after leaving their vehicles. One of those people was struck by another vehicle, and the other collapsed and died from internal injuries caused in the accident. Police say that a third person died of a heart attack.
“Nine trucks, several of them tractor-trailers, and nine cars were involved in the crash in the highway’s westbound lanes, state police said. At least one of the trucks was carrying hazardous material, but no leaks were found, a county official said.”
The 18 car pileup came after the National Weather Service issued warnings of severe weather caused by lake effect snow in the area. Those familiar with snow squalls understand just how bad visibility can get in a very short amount of time. One small car accident can easily cause a chain reaction because drivers can’t see very far in front of them in such inclement weather. Snow that comes down in such a fierce way is blinding, and accidents can happen rather quickly.
According to NBC Philadelphia, the snow squall was a complete whiteout for a good period of time.
“There was a whiteout. There was very heavy snow at the time with visibility virtually zero,” said Clarion County Emergency Services director Vern Smith.
While it is nearly impossible to predict when a snow squall is going to occur, officials suggest that people pull over to the side of the road if they are able to do so.
Winter weather often causes poor driving conditions across much of the country, sometimes without much notice at all. While some people feel confident driving in poor weather conditions, it is near impossible to drive safely if a person can’t see. Snow squalls have caused many accidents, pileups, and sadly, many deaths over the years. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a snow squall in Detroit in January 2013 also left three people dead and several injured.