FINDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN)- A short but important stretch of Interstate 79 in Mercer County has reopened Monday night eight hours after a bad accident shut it down.
The accident involved two vehicles where Interstates 80 and 79 intersect in Findley Township.
A pickup pulling a camper from 80 to 79 was involved as was an SUV. This is the same ramp used by people from Youngstown traveling to the Grove City Outlets.
When First News arrived on the scene at around 3:30 p.m., a helicopter was transporting someone injured in the accident to the hospital.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, three people were injured. All of them were taken from the scene by helicopter.
The end result of what happened could be seen scattered along I-79 south. What was left of a camper, a pair of boots and propane tanks along with the heavily damaged pickup that was pulling it could be seen under the Route 58 overpass.
Police said the pickup and camper were coming off the ramp from I-80 to I-79 South. A hundred yards south on 79, a heavily damaged SUV was also off the side of the road.
By 4 p.m., police were having vehicles back up and turn around on I-79 to get them on their way. When the traffic was cleared, investigators took over the scene trying to figure out what happened.
PSP said in a release that the vehicle with a camper lost control and hit the other vehicle and the guardrail on the east side of the roadway. As a result, the vehicle hit the pillars of the Mercer Grove City Road overpass before coming to a stop. The other vehicle lost control and overturned multiple times, according to the press release.
At 6 p.m. investigators were still combing the scene trying to reconstruct what took place. Two flatbed trucks were waiting nearby ready to help clean up what was left behind.
Motorists traveling from Interstate 80 to I-79 had to be rerouted. Westbound traffic was being detoured to Route 19 near Mercer where a long line of traffic could be seen on the exit ramp.
As of 10 p.m., traffic was flowing again.
Drivers can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com.
PSP said that both drivers and a passenger in one of the vehicles sustained serious injuries. The driver of the camper was transported to UPMC Presbyterian hospital and the driver of the other vehicle and the passenger were taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown. Reports said that the driver of the camper was not wearing a seatbelt while the driver of the other vehicle and passenger were wearing seatbelts.
Brian Oehlbeck contributed to this report.