Two deaths are being reported in a multivehicle crash early Wednesday on Interstate 80.
The crash occurred at about 12:30 a.m., according to Centre County dispatchers, near exit 161-Bellefonte.
Six vehicles were involved in the crash, according to state police at Rockview. Two fatalities were reported, police said, with two additional reports of injuries.
According to police, a tractor-trailer traveling east in Marion Township slid off the right side of the roadway and became partially disabled on the roadway. A second tractor-trailer — driven by Christopher Francisko, 51, of Kylertown — stopped in the right-hand lane of the interstate due to the blockage.
Francisko’s truck was struck by a third tractor-trailer, police said, “setting off a chain reaction crash,” causing another vehicle — driven by Jane Nakovski, 22, of Brewster, Mass. — to strike the third tractor-trailer.
A fourth tractor-trailer struck a vehicle — driven by Vasily Vlasyuk, 33, of Ramsey, Minn., police said. A fifth tractor-trailer — driven by Randall Norris, 45, of Lincoln, Ill. — struck the passenger side of the fourth tractor-trailer.
The drivers of the third and fourth tractor-trailers were declared dead at the scene by Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers, police said. The names of the deceased have not yet been released.
Francisko and Norris were taken from the scene with minor and moderate injuries, respectively, police said. All six vehicles were disabled in the crash and were towed from the scene.
One truck was on fire on arrival, a spokesman for Undine Fire Company said, which spread to a second truck. Multiple emergency medical services responded from Centre and Clinton counties, as well as fire response from Undine, Howard, Alpha, Pleasant Gap, Citizen’s, Walker Township and Clinton County fire companies.
Interstate 80 eastbound between exits 161 and 173-Lamar was closed for most of Wednesday, with routes 26 and 64 being used as detours.
The interstate was re-opened at 9:15 p.m., according to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation news release