Early morning crash: Truck driver injured, I81 shut down

A truck driver was injured and Interstate 81 south of Chambersburg was shut down for hours following a crash early this morning.

First responders from Franklin Fire Company were first told by emergency dispatchers that the crash was “non-injury” involving a tractor-trailer rig that went off the highway just south of the Wayne Avenue exit.

That quickly changed after the truck driver got out of the rig and was hit by a passing vehicle.

The driver, who has not been identified by Pennsylvania State Police, was airlifted to a nearby trauma center. The PSP investigation into the crash was still ongoing as of late morning.

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The crash happened at about 4 a.m. today when the rig went off the highway into the median. Initial reports said it overturned, but photos by first responders on social media show it upright in the median.

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Scene of I-81 crash in which a truck driver was hit at about 4 a.m. Thursday. (Photo courtesy Franklin Gire Company)

READ: PSP: Mercersburg woman injured in crash

I81 shut down, emergency landing zone established

Fire police quickly shut down the southbound lanes at Wayne Avenue exit 14. Emergency medical personnel asked for an Air Medical helicopter and emergency responders set up a landing zone on the highway. Life Net 81 landed and took over patient care, evacuating the driver to a trauma facility.

Two other vehicles were damaged as a result of the debris from the rig. Detailed information about the crash was not available from PSP as of noon today.

I-81 southbound was still shut down at Wayne Avenue as of 8 a.m., but was reopened about 15 minutes later, according to Franklin County Emergency Management Director Jake Crider.

This story will be updated when the PSP investigation is complete and investigators issue a news release.

The day started early for local first responders and emergency personnel, but the big, and so far most serious incident, didn’t mean fire company personnel could go right back to the station for breakfast and a quick nap.

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Large bales of hay blocked Sollenberger Road west of Chambersburg. (Photo courtesy Franklin Fire Company)

While returning from 81, another call came in for a “roadway obstruction” on Sollenberger Road, just off of Lincoln Way on the west side of Chambersburg.

Franklin’s first responders found multiple square bales in the roadway. They were able to open the roadway in about 10 minutes.

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