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Regional

Section of Pennsylvania Turnpike in Plum reopens after 11-hour closure

Tony LaRussa
| Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, 4:57 a.m.
An accident involving two tractor-trailers closed the westbound lanes of the Turnpike between the Allegheny Valley and Pittsburgh interchanges on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
WPXI-TV
An accident involving two tractor-trailers closed the westbound lanes of the Turnpike between the Allegheny Valley and Pittsburgh interchanges on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018

The Pennsylvania Turnpike’s westbound lanes between the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley interchanges reopened about 3:40 p.m. Friday, more than 11 hours after a crash forced that section of the highway to close.

In addition, one eastbound lane also reopened in time for the evening rush hour, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission spokesman Carl DeFebo said.

Two tractor-trailers crashed about 4:30 a.m. near mile marker 49 in the area of the Oakmont/Plum service plaza in Plum, forcing the lane closures.

DeFebo said hazmat crews worked throughout the day to clean up 300 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled onto the roadway.

Fuel and debris from the trucks, one of which was hauling lumber and the other bulk mail, spilled onto the westbound lanes and across the median onto the eastbound lanes. Neither driver had to be taken to the hospital, DeFebo said.

DeFebo said it’s unclear what caused the crash or if anyone will be cited by state police.

The flatbed carrying lumber was heavily damaged and on its side after the crash. The enclosed truck carrying mail only sustained front-end damage but was lodged atop the barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic.

Westbound traffic was detoured around the closed section of turnpike via Interstate 376, I-279 North, Route 28 North and Freeport Road. An average of 25,000 motorists a day use the affected section of turnpike.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib. Staff writer Emily Balser contributed.

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