During an enormous pileup that occurred in a daunting snowstorm along I-80 in Clarion County Wednesday afternoon, two men died when they got out of their vehicles.

State police said that a tractor-trailer driver identified as Leonard Mink, age 67 from Nancy, Ky. was killed after he got out of his vehicle to assist others who may have been injured. Clarion County Coroner Terry Shaffer stated that the 2nd fatality that died from critical injuries was identified as Timothy Floravit, age 35, resident of Beaver Falls. He was thrown into the steering wheel of his vehicle as he was trying to get out and help his children.

Clarion Barracks’ State Trooper Jamie Levier said that this is one horrific tragedy and that investigators were not yet able to determine what caused the chain-reaction collision. It was also too early to say whether anyone would be charged.

Pile-up accident involved 18 vehicles that included nine tractor-trailers involved in the wreck. The chain reaction mishap happened at 1:33 o’clock in the afternoon at 65 mile marker near the Strattanville exit. Due to the vehicles that appeared like a jumbled mass in the westbound lanes, traffic remained closed late Wednesday night.

According to police, the initial accounts revealed that three people were dead, but state police clarified that later in the day that the third victim died in another part of the county of another traffic accident. The 3rd man not identified, expired about 20 miles away and 15 minutes after the 1-80 pileup.

Trooper Levier was not able to estimate how many people were injured, but other emergency workers said that around 30 injuries were transported to area hospitals. In fact, in Clarion Hospital alone, about 18 to 20 people were treated.

Clarion Hospital Hospital’s director of marketing and physician recruitment, Julie Kunselman said that people were treated for fractures and head and neck injuries. Some sustained only minor injuries and were soon discharged; however, those with more serious injuries were moved to other hospitals.

The emergency services vehicles of Clarion and Jefferson counties played a great role in transporting the injured while a bus drove people out from the scene.

Officer Levier said that the pile-up resulted when passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers plowed into each other during a snowstorm caused by the squall that started building up at about 12:30 o’clock in the afternoon. According to Brad Rehak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service near Pittsburgh International Airport, a less than a quarter mile to less than visibility and wind gusts of up to 35 mph were reported.

As of 7:00 o’clock morning of Wednesday, weather service for Clarion County issued a winter advisory for drivers along I-80 for them to prepare for hazardous travel conditions along snow-covered roads.

Pa. Department of Transportation has reduced the speed limit along I-80 to only 45 mph after the weather advisory.

The interstate was later reopened early this morning.

Accident victims have rights. If you or your loved one has been harmed or fatally injured in a vehicular accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver, contact car accident lawyer now for free consultation. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.

Source: Post Gazette Com


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