Series of crashes with tractor-trailers in Jackson Township

LIBERTY – The southbound lanes of Route 15 were closed for 10 hours Friday morning following a series of three crashes that involved a total of four tractor-trailer trucks, according to Liberty Fire Chief Andrew O’Conners.

The first crash involved a southbound rig loaded with household items that struck a rock embankment and jackknifed about 12:45 a.m., O’Conners and state police said Saturday night.

The truck’s trailer began rotating, and when that happened, the truck’s cab dislodged from the frame, police said. Half of the truck’s cargo spilled out onto the highway.

The driver, Robert J. Broadwell, 28, of Brockport, N.Y., was treated at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro for moderate injuries and released, police said.

The second crash happened moments later when a tractor-trailer, stopped for the first crash, was rammed in the rear by a third tractor-trailer,” O’Conners said he was told.

As emergency responders began arriving on the scene, a fourth tractor-trailer crashed into the same rock embankment as the first rig and also jackknifed, O’Conners said. None of the other truck drivers was injured, he added.

One of the trailers, loaded with huge bales of paper, also split open, O’Conners said.

The pileup occurred about three miles south of here, in Lycoming County’s Jackson Township.

In addition to firefighters from Liberty and Blossburg, at the scene were state Department of Transportation employees who assisted in detouring traffic around the crash site.

One traffic lane was re-opened about 11 a.m. and the second was opened at 1:30 p.m., O’Conners said.