By Walt Hunter
UPPER MERION, Pa. (CBS) – An I-Team investigation reveals a Schuylkill Expressway off-ramp in Upper Merion where a truck flipped at the start of Wednesday’s rush hour has been the scene of prior wrecks, including a Sept. 4 crash that left a driver seriously injured.
PennDOT data provided to the I-Team shows there have been 23 accidents on the westbound off-ramp that carries traffic to Routes 202 and 422 between 2008 and 2013. Seven accidents involved overturned trucks, and five were large trucks.
A neighbor near the off-ramp, Trevor Kokjohn, says he sees an accident there about once every three months.
On Sept. 4, a truck tipped on the curved ramp and dumped a 750 lb. engine block onto a car below, trapping and injuring the driver. State Police citations obtained by the I-Team reveal the driver was cited for speeding and careless driving. He has indicated he plans to fight the allegations in court.
Motorist Rob Campbell says, “It’s definitely dangerous. Any time people are getting off at that exit and going over the speed that’s posted there, it’s dangerous.”
PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum says of the off-ramp, “It’s an indication that it is an issue. This is the third [accident] in the last three months.”
PennDOT says it has put warning signs, including a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit, on the ramp, and the agency says more signs will soon be installed.
Blaum says, “the sign has a posted advisory speed limit of 25 miles-per-hour. It is not a ramp that you should be taking at a high rate of speed.”
Among the factors contributing to the accidents, PennDOT says, is heavy traffic on the ramp, which is used by more than 12,500 drivers daily.
So far, there’s no information on what caused this morning’s crash. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Following a five-hour cleanup, the truck was hauled away at mid-morning, with traffic returning to normal.