Mavric Trucking Inc

Never in hurry, always on time!

Date: January 6, 2020

Pennsylvania Turnpike Crash Kills Five and Injures 60; Tour Bus and Tractor-Trailers Involved; Turnpike Closed

At a Glance

  • At least five people were killed in the crash.
  • The crash happened about 3:40 a.m. Sunday.
  • An 86-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is closed in both directions.
  • About 60 people were injured.

An 86-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed for much of Sunday after a deadly crash involving a tour bus, three tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle.

Five people were killed in the crash, Westmoreland County Coroner Ken Bacha told the Tribune-Review. About 60 people were injured and taken to three area hospitals, turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo tweeted.

The tour bus was traveling on a downhill curve and struck an embankment, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. The bus was hit by the tractor-trailers: two UPS trucks and a FedEx truck, which were loaded with parcels. A private passenger vehicle was also involved in the crash.

The crash happened about 3:40 a.m. Sunday in Westmoreland County, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, around mile marker 86. The crash closed the turnpike in both directions between New Stanton at Exit 75 and Breezewood at Exit 161.

Snow showers were moving through western Pennsylvania Sunday morning, meteorologist Christopher Dolce said.

Angela Maynard, a tractor-trailer driver from Kentucky who stopped at the crash site, told the Tribune-Review the roads were wet from snow but not especially icy.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Public Information Manager Rene Colborne told CNN the speed limit is 70 mph in the crash area. The road conditions seemed to be “fine” and the roads are treated 24/7, she said.

A spokeswoman for Excela Health said 25 people ranging in age from 7 to 52 were being evaluated at Excela Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant. Two patients were to be transferred to a trauma hospital, she said. Their conditions were not available.

Eleven people were taken to Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville. One is in critical condition, and the others are in fair condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Eighteen patients taken to UPMC Somerset have been treated and released. UPMC Presbyterian was treating three people. A child was treated at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville, a UPMC spokeswoman said. Their conditions were not available.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate the crash.

FedEx spokeswoman Allie Addoms provided this statement: “First and foremost we extend our deepest condolences to the families of the individuals involved in this accident. There is no higher priority for FedEx Ground than safety, and we are cooperating fully with investigating authorities at this time.”

A UPS spokesperson said that one of their vehicles was involved in the crash and issued the following statement: “UPS is cooperating with authorities in the investigation and we express our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families and friends.”

Drivers say they’re back on paper logs after ELD outage

One driver who said she’s experiencing an ELD crash said, “This new elog system is going to put us out of business, I think.”

A large number of truck drivers have reported that they are experiencing major functionality issues with their PeopleNet Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs).

Multiple sources including Freightwaves have reported that PeopleNet ELD devices are malfunctioning due to syncing problems between the server clock and the GPS related to the change over to the 2020 calendar year.

Drivers have reported lengthy login times and some say that multiple reboots were required to even make it to the login screen.

PeopleNet is a Trimble Transportation company. Trimble Transportation did not respond to CDLLife’s request for comment.

Some drivers are reporting that their PeopleNet display reads “This device is not functioning as an ELD. Paper logs may be required for backup. Check manual for instructions.”

Additionally, the display date on several driver’s PeopleNet devices appears as 5/3/07.

Facebook user and OTR driver for Ecklund wrote, “Our entire fleets peoplenet computers went down December 31st 2019. Apparently the onboard calendar of the devices manufactured in 2007. Goes from 2007 to 2019. We now can I use the ELD function because the computer does not recognize the calendar year of 2020. We’re on paper logs until they correct the problem? Which apparently cannot be done via programming. LOL. Thanks peoplenet for not seeing this problem coming.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD regulations allow for the use of paper logs for up to 8 days in the case of a device malfunction.

It isn’t yet clear how long it might take for Trimble to resolve the PeopleNet issues.

In November 2019, Omnitracs ELD devices underwent a similar “GPS rollover event” that left drivers back on paper logs.

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