Police have released details on the explosive tractor-trailer crash that closed part of Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County earlier this week.
According to State Police in Frackville, the crash happened in the northbound lanes of I-81 around 9 a.m. Monday, April 12.
At that time, service truck driver Mark Hoy, of Pottsville, was attending to a disabled tractor-trailer on the northbound right shoulder of the highway near Mile Marker 113 in Foster Twp. Hoy had set up safety triangles on the highway to partially close the driving lane of I-81 while he worked to change a tire.
As he was finishing the tire work, gathering his equipment, a tractor-trailer driven by Marc A. McDonough, 66, of Dundalk, Maryland, began approaching in the driving lane. McDonough attempted to slow down as he approached the area of the disabled truck and Hoy’s truck. He was unable to slow enough, veered right and smashed the front of his truck into the trailer of the disabled truck, driven by Andre L. Johnson, 40, of College Station, Texas.
Police Release Details on Fiery Interstate 81 Crash in Schuylkill County
Police say as Johnson’s truck plowed into McDonough’s truck, it forced McDonough’s truck forward, knocking Hoy backward about 25 feet.
Hoy suffered a head injury was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pottsville.
The impact of Johnson’s truck onto McDonough’s also caused the fuel tank on McDonough’s vehicle to explode, police say. This engulfed both trucks in flames.
Johnson’s truck and trailer were completely burned. The trailer of of McDonough’s was destroyed by fire, too. According to a report from the Republican Herald newspaper, the trailers were carrying items such as M&M’s, Snickers bars, and plastic cups.
McDonough was able to escape his truck but suffered injuries that required hospital treatment. He was also taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pottsville. Johnson escaped injury in the crash.
First responders shut down the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 at Exit 112, allowing firefighters a chance to get the inferno under control.
Check out this intense series of videos captured by Yorkville Hose of Pottsville from the scene:
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