The northbound lanes of Interstate 81 between the Hometown and McAdoo exits were closed for just under five hours, following a fatal vehicle accident that occurred around 8:45 last night in Delano Township, Schuylkill County, near mile marker 135.
Officials on scene stated that one of the two persons in the vehicle, a gray van, was ejected from the vehicle as it crashed into a large ditch and flipped along the north side of the road. It came to rest on its passenger side. While the man laid on the road, he was subsequently run over by one or two other vehicles. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:30 p.m. by Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner David Truskowsky.
Officials added that the other person was found on an embankment behind the van. They said the second victim, who was noted to have life-threatening injuries, might have been ejected as well.
A medical helicopter landed on the interstate to transport that person to a trauma center at the Reading Hospital.
Firefighters and Good Samaritans could be seen using flashlights and spotlights looking to see if anyone else might have been in the van. No other person was found, it was noted.
Northbound traffic was diverted off the interstate at both the Delano and Mahanoy City exits. Firefighters from McAdoo, Delano and Ryan Township assisted at the scene.
State police at Frackville, who are investigating, permitted smaller vehicles stuck on the interstate to turn around and go back to the Delano off-ramp.
Mahanoy City firefighters, Hometown and Quakake fire police assisted with the detours. Two broken down tractor trailers along SR54 through Barnesville caused even more headaches for motorists and emergency personnel, resulting in multiple traffic jams through Rush and Kline townships.
A state police accident reconstruction team was also called to the scene.
The northbound lanes were eventually re-opened at 2:10 a.m.
No more information was available as of press time.