READING - Portions of highways were shut down in snowy eastern Pennsylvania after chain-reaction pileups ensnared dozens of vehicles on slippery roads.
No deaths have been reported.
Pennsylvania Turnpike officials said Thursday that 35 vehicles piled up in related accidents, blocking westbound lanes and causing a 4-mile backup about 50 miles west of Philadelphia, between the Morgantown and Reading exits in Berks County.
Turnpike spokeswoman Renee Colborn says backed-up vehicles were cleared and about 10 people were taken to hospitals.
Meanwhile, state police say 25 to 30 vehicles piled up in related crashes on Interstate 78 and shut down about 5 miles of westbound lanes in Berks County.
The lanes on I-78 reopened after 3 p.m. Trooper David Beohm says 25 people were taken to hospitals, including one by helicopter, and 44 were treated at the scene.
On the turnpike, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission reopened the roadway between the Morgantown and Reading nterchanges about 5:15 p.m. That section of the turnpike had been closed westbound since approximately 10 a.m. because of four separate accidents.
Motorists were encouraged to exit at Downingtown Interchange (#312) when traffic backed up at Morgantown for several miles. Those people trapped in the backlog of traffic Thursday morning were u-turned and sent back to Morgantown Interchange, where their tolls were waived. All motorists caught in the backlog of traffic Thursday afternoon also had their tolls waived at the Morgantown Interchange.
Pennsylvania State Police Troop T will be issuing an accident report detailing the number of vehicles involved in the accidents and the number of people injured.
For updates and roadway conditions, check the Turnpike website at www.paturnpike.com.