UPDATE: Deadly crashes down part of I-78 in Berks County, back open Wednesday morning


(Image Courtesy: PennDOT)

This story has been updated with the latest information from Pa. State Police.

TILDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Two multi-vehicle crashes shut down I-78 eastbound in Berks County Tuesday night.

According to PennDOT, the crashes occurred between Exit 19: PA 183-Strausstown and Exit 29A: PA 61 South-Reading. All lanes were closed and traffic was being diverted off the interstate.

Pa. State Police Hamburg confirmed to abc27 at least four are dead, two from each, and they’re working with the Berks County Coroner in their ongoing investigation.

A bus, two passenger vehicles, and a tractor-trailer were all involved in the first crash just before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police say the school bus was driving in the right lane and ran into stopped traffic, which was due to a left lane closure in a work zone. The bus rear-ended a Chevrolet Cruze. The bus kept going with the Cruze lodged underneath and rear-ended a Nissan Xterra. The Nissan then rear-ended the tractor-trailer.

The driver of the Chevrolet and the front-seat passenger of the Nissan were pronounced dead at the scene. The others involved were not injured.

The second was with two tractor-trailers and multiple passenger vehicles two hours later. This crash occurred as traffic was being taken off I-78 due to the earlier crash. A tractor-trailer rear-ended a van, which caused a chain reaction of rear-ending two other cars, a Sedan and an SUV, and another tractor-trailer.

The back-seat passenger-side passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, as well as the driver of the SUV. No word on injuries for everyone else involved.

The incident continues to be under investigation.

This is a developing story. abc27 will provide updates as they become available.

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