Heavy snow, low visibility, gusty winds and slippery roads caused a deadly pile-up on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania that also left at least 44 people injured.
The Montour County coroner confirmed two men died as a result of a 30-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon, according to CNN affiliate WOLF.
Snow squalls are short-lived and typically last less than three hours, according to the National Weather Service. The agency tweeted Wednesday to warn of a moving snow squall around 2:30 p.m. The accident happened around 1:40 p.m., Pennsylvania State Police told CNN.
The accident was weather-induced, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation press officer Kimberly Smith.
A chain reaction involving about 20 tractor-trailers and 10 other vehicles occurred about 70 miles away from Harrisburg, according to WOLF. Interstate 80 was shut between the Williamsport and Lock Haven exits for hours.
In video of the aftermath, dozens of white semi-trucks can be seen pinned against each other, some flipped on their sides off the edge of the highway. Emergency vehicle lights can be seen in the distance reflecting off the trucks just after the sun had set.
Officials said the westbound lanes remain closed, but they hope to have them reopened Thursday evening, according to the affiliate.
Evangelical Community Hospital received 37 patients during the incident, and two showed up on their own. Three of those patients were sent elsewhere, hospital spokesperson Deanna L. Hollenbach told CNN.
Geisinger Medical Center received five patients directly from the crash, and three from other hospitals, according to hospital spokesperson Marc Stempka. As of Thursday afternoon, Stempka said, three patients remain under care at GMC and all are in fair condition.
Central Pennsylvania and parts of New York, including the city and parts of Long Island, as well as southern Connecticut all experienced some of the snow squall’s wrath.