Police Close Icy Blue Route After Crash

Icy conditions could have caused a pileup along one of the area’s busiest highways this morning.

State Police closed the Blue Route (Interstate 476) northbound from Exit 5 (U.S. Route 1 – Lima/Springfield) to Exit 9 (Route 3 – Broomall/Upper Darby). Police said there were reports of icy conditions on the roadway shortly after 5 a.m. when the crash happened.

A box truck overturned during the crash and appeared to fall onto a car that was turned around in the wrong direction in one of the wrecks. Two other cars including what appeared to be a state trooper cruiser were also involved in the main wreck.

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Police didn’t immediately reveal the extent of injuries but it did appear at least one person was pinned in a car. It took rescuers more than one hour to free that person and rush him or her into a waiting ambulance.

The backup went all the way to the Media Bypass (Route 1). Police diverted traffic onto Route 1 so that motorists could avoid the crash.

“You can see the traffic is backed up for miles,” said SkyForce10 pilot Dan Kent.

The early morning darkness made it hard to see icy spots on area roadways as temps hovered at or below freezing before daybreak, according to NBC10 First Alert Weather meteorologist Bill Henley.

PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum said there were reports of some icy spots on area roads but that PennDOT only received a request for a salt truck after the cars crashed. That truck eventually rolled through around 6:30 a.m.

NBC10′s Monique Braxton reported that many area roads and sidewalks were icy.

There were reports of crashes on other area roadways. It wasn’t clear if ice played a role in those wrecks.

This crash comes less than one week after a massive ice-related pileup along the Pennsylvania Turnpike that involved up to 100 cars. PennDOT also closed a stretch of I-80 in Central Pennsylvania on Tuesday following crashes caused by possible freezing rain.