LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Interstate 80 Westbound in Luzerne County is open at this hour.
It was closed for nearly 17 hours after a commercial vehicle carrying hazardous materials overturned just before midnight.
I-80 was reopened at 4:30 on Friday. Eyewitness News visited the on ramp of 80 at White Haven where they saw the traffic getting off 80 to take a detour.
State police say a commercial vehicle carry hazardous materials crashed and overturned at mile marker 265.3. It was carrying asbestos. Then, a second commercial vehicle crashed into the first truck, and seconds later a passenger car slammed into the wrecked trucks. The driver of the passenger had to be extricated from the car. The drivers of the trucks were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Most the interstate traffic is now being detoured through Freeland and White Haven. It’s been a slow go much of the day. Eyewitness News reporter Andy Mehalshick spoke to a Freeland volunteer firefighter who was manually operating the traffic light on center street and route 940, as well as with a truck driver who was caught up in the traffic mess.
“It’s been a challenge, the constant flow of traffic especially coming off the interstate with multiple tractor trailers and cars. So lots of cars coming through here,” described Freeland firefighter Bill Kuklis.
When asked about his thoughts on the detour, truck driver Ethan replied “I got to go to the shipper. I’m already late right now.”
When Mehalshick asked if Ethan was surprised to find I-80 closed, Ethan responded “Yes, sir. It’s not normally closed.”
The Department of Environmental Protection is cleaning up the asbestos materials. They say there is no danger to the public or the environment.
Again, I-80 West is now open.