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Deadly I-78 pileup: Dozens of vehicles collide on Pennsylvania highway

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FREDERICKSBURG, Pa. — Multiple people were killed and at least 10 injured when dozens of vehicles slammed into each other on a stretch of Pennsylvania interstate in Lebanon County, officials said Saturday.

A driver involved told CNN the weather on Interstate 78 near Fredericksburg was a prime factor.

“It was definitely a whiteout, I couldn’t see any further than probably two city blocks,” Raoul Jardine of Allentown said. “I saw brake lights and pulled off to the side. Somebody hit me when I was parked in the shoulder.”

Authorities didn’t specify how many people had died.

“We are still in the process of looking for people in vehicles so I cannot say how many are dead yet,” Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Trooper David Beohm said.

At least 60 vehicles were involved in the series of wrecks.

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center received 10 patients. Three were in critical condition, three were moderate to severe, and four had minor injuries, hospital spokeswoman Megan Manlove said.

The accident happened at 9:30 a.m. at mile marker 7.5 and the interstate is shut down in both directions, state police said. Beohm confirmed a snow squall created whiteout conditions at the time of the wrecks.

Jardine said it took him 10 to 15 minutes to compose himself.

“I got out of my car and couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” he said. “It was carnage.”

State police said three people were killed in a weather-related pileup involving more than 50 vehicles on Interstate 78 in central Pennsylvania.

Trooper Justin Summa said an unknown number of critically injured patients were flown to six or seven hospitals and 70 more were transported by ambulance to other facilities.

He said several buses of stranded passengers were taken to a warming shelter at a firehouse in the area.

The crash happened about 9:45 a.m. Saturday in the eastbound lanes of the interstate in Bethel Township, about 75 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The pileup left tractor-trailers, box trucks and cars tangled together across three lanes of traffic and into the snow-covered median.

Trooper Adam Reed said investigators believe that “passing snow squalls played a role in causing the crash.”