A three-vehicle collision in Swatara Township claimed two lives and sent two others to the hospital, one was treated and released and the other remains in critical condition. An SUV crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic, striking a tractor-trailer and causing it to catch fire. A cement truck then collided with the tractor-trailer and rolled over.
The driver of the semi truck and his passenger were killed in the fatal truck accident. The driver of the cement truck was able to walk away, but was taken to the hospital for treatment. Investigators are still unsure what caused the driver of the SUV, a Chevrolet Equinox, to cross over the highway and cause the pileup.
The explosion of the gas tank on the semi-truck severely burned the cab of the truck; initial reports noted that the truck driver and his passenger had little chance of surviving. The heat from the fire was so intense that it melted siding on some nearby homes.
The semi jack-knifed across Pennsylvania Route 72. Debris from the crash, including spilled cement from the mixer truck, littered the highway and created obstacles for other drivers. The roadway was closed for several hours after the crash.
The driver of the Equinox was a National Guardsman who was in uniform at the time of the crash. The SUV flipped at least two times during the crash. One witness who came to his aid after the crash noted that he had been knocked out and was asking "Where am I?" Another witness reported hearing several explosions after the crash.
Investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police are also seeking out the assistance of witnesses to the fatal accident.
Source: WHPTV, "UPDATE(4): Route 72 was closed after two people killed in accident," Nate Wardle, May 10, 2012