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Fatal crashes on 78 and 309

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 13 2014 05:00:09 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 04:26:51 AM CST

Monday was a deadly start to the work week on the roads.

Monday was a deadly start to the work week on the roads.

Two different accidents early Monday morning claimed two lives. One was on Route 309. The other was at the Interstate 78 toll plaza in Williams Township.

I-78 was closed early Monday morning as a tractor trailer rammed into the back of a car paying the toll coming into Pennsylvania. The gravity of smoke at the scene doesn't hit until you realize there's an SUV underneath this tractor trailer.

"It's a terrible sight. At least one fatality and a tragic scene," Pennsylvania State Trooper Marc Allen said.

Flames lined I- 78 shortly after the crash. The macabre scene was captured on video by a passing driver.

Police say just after 8 a.m. a ShopRite tractor trailer smashed into the back of what investigators think is an SUV as it was paying the toll to come into Pennsylvania.

The truck hit the toll booth and smashed through barriers in the process.

"At this point you can't see the actual vehicle in the truck," Allen said.

Both the truck driver, a 55-year-old Allentown man, and the toll booth attendant are okay. But the driver of the SUV is confirmed dead.

The identity of the driver is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

Sadly the crash on I-78 wasn't the only deadly accident on Monday morning.

Around 5 a.m., 75-year-old Arthur Metcalfe of Bethlehem was killed when police say his pickup crashed into a Trans-bridge bus at the intersection of Route 309 and Pumping Station Road in Richland Twp., just north of Quakertown.

"The Ranger failed to see it [the bus] and stop in time and rear ended it," Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. David Nosal told us.

Back on I-78, no brake marks can be found and the charred truck sits at its final resting spot, well past the toll booth, with the SUV still underneath.

Both investigations are ongoing.