SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — After nearly 40 hours, the stretch of 81 north near Pottsville is back open Wednesday morning.
The highway reopened around 1 a.m.
State police investigators confirmed Wednesday morning that six people died after more than 50 vehicles got caught up in a chain-reaction wreck Monday morning.
State police also said that there were 80 vehicles involved in this pileup – 39 trucks and commercial vehicles and 41 passenger vehicles.
It took rescue and recovery crews nearly two days to open the northbound lanes near the Minersville exit. They first had to deal with the immediate aftermath of the crash and the injured and then a massive fire that burned for nearly a day.
What followed was a difficult effort to clear the wreckage. Then PennDOT had to repair the highway.
An 80-year-old woman from Vermont was driving home from Florida when it started to snow near Tower City.
Ann White says she couldn't see a thing when she crashed into a tractor-trailer.
White was then helplessly trapped in her car as at least ten vehicles hit her.
"I said, 'Don't let me survive this crash only to be taken out by the car slamming into me.' I didn't know whether they were semis plowing into me."
Crews rescued white by pulling her through her windshield.
She spent the night in a local hotel before being picked up by her children in Schuylkill County.