Sunday, January 9, 2022

Two Injured in Crash Involving a Tractor Trailer and Plow Truck on Interstate 81 near Hazleton

Two drivers were transported after a crash that closed Interstate 81 near Hazleton late Friday.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police at Hazleton, the crash occurred around 8:00pm on Interstate 81 northbound in the area of mile marker 143.8 in Hazle Township, Luzerne County.

Troopers say the crash occurred as a Fed Ex Tractor Trailer being driven by William Herbert, 74, of Gilbert, PA, and a International 4700 Plow Truck/Salt Truck being driven by Colton Rohraugh, 24, of Bunker Hill, WV, were traveling north on Interstate 81.

Rohrbaugh was reportedly traveling the right lane and right should at a slow speed due to a vehicle malfunction when Herbert struck the rear of the plow truck. 

The plow truck hit the guide rail came to a final stop in the right lane of the highway.  The tractor trailer continued about 500 feet and jackknifed across both northbound lanes and caught fire.

Both vehicles included the trailers sustained disabling damage.

Both drivers sustained minor injuries and were both transported by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Hazleton.

Both drivers were cited for the crash.

Interstate 81 northbound was closed for almost 2 1/2 hours while the scene was cleared.

State Police say they were assisted  by the Hazle Township Fire Department, Harwood Fire Department, West Hazleton Fire Department, Lehigh Valley EMS, Greater Hazleton Ambulance, and PennDOT.

Photo above by the Hazle Township Fire Department