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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The chairman of a Pennsylvania State Senate committee says he expects to hold a hearing into the chain of crashes on the turnpike last Friday morning (see related story) — as well as the state’s handling of other transportation emergencies.

State senator John Rafferty, a Republican representing the Philadelphia suburbs and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, says he’s already had conversations with his counterpart in the House about a joint hearing by the transportation committees of both chambers.

Some have questioned why Pennsylvania Turnpike authorities lifted speed restrictions on the morning of the chain-reaction pileups, but Rafferty says the hearing will be broader in scope.

“[I’m] looking at it generally. It would be unfair to say that was the single factor.  I’m going to look at everything that went into the road that day — the operations, the decisionmaking process, and then, most importantly, the response to it,” Rafferty told KYW Newsradio.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police says that agency’s probe is examining factors that include possible sun glare, road conditions, and whether people were following too closely.

Rafferty says with the House and Senate in budget hearings right now, any hearing he has won’t likely come for another month or so.

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