25 sent to hospitals after 25-car pile up on I-78 in Greenwich Township, day after Christmas

Photos courtesy of Kutztown Fire Co. Emergency crews responded to multiple vehicle accidents on I-78 westbound in Greenwich Township on Dec. 26.
Photos courtesy of Kutztown Fire Co. Emergency crews responded to multiple vehicle accidents on I-78 westbound in Greenwich Township on Dec. 26.

About a 25-car pile closed Interstate 78 westbound in Greenwich Township, after a band of snow hit Berks County the day after Christmas. The Interstate was closed from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

State Police Trooper David Boehm told The Patriot that the first call came in at 8:45 a.m. on Dec. 26, for two multiple vehicle crashes involving about 25 to 27 vehicles between mile marker 35 and 40.

Boehm estimates 44 people were treated or seen by EMS at the scene, out of which 25 were transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Medical Center, Reading Hospital and Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Boehm said the cause of the accidents was weather related.

According to a Kutztown Fire Company report, Companies 46 & 33 were dispatched at 8:46 a.m. for a reported vehicle accident with multiple vehicles and entrapment on I-78 at mile marker 38.1. Deputy 46 responded and was advised of multiple entrapments in two separate pile-ups, which involved 11 vehicles in one and 22 in the other, according to Kutztown Fire Co.

Also at the scene were Companies 44, 21and 61 as well as Lehigh 51 and fire police to shut down the Westbound side of the highway at Exit 40.

Crews used multiple hydraulic tools to gain access to the trapped victims. EMS initiated a triage system and the most severe were quickly removed, according to the fire report.

Kutztown Fire Company reported that there were 13 victims entrapped with two in critical condition. One victim was pinned between the guardrail and the vehicle. Emergency crews removed the rail to free the victim.

Crews contained minor fluid spills due to the initial crash and no major spills or leaks, reports Kutztown Fire Co.

The Patriot awaits the release of State Police reports for further details.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.

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