MONROEVILLE, PA.— Traffic is getting back to normal on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after a gruesome travel experience for many during the snowstorm.
About 500 vehicles got stuck on a long stretch of the turnpike in Somerset and Bedford counties starting Friday night.
Buses carrying the Temple's Women's Gymnastics team and Duquesne University Men's Basketball team were among those getting stuck in the mess.
Some travelers were stuck up to 24 hours, but turnpike officials say all stranded vehicles and passengers are now removed.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan, of Monroeville, Pa., has issued the following statement regarding the incident on Interstate 70/76 this weekend in Somerset and Bedford counties:
First and foremost, I want to offer my sincere apologies to all of the travelers who were stranded on the PA Turnpike during this unfortunate ordeal. All of us at the PA Turnpike, and everyone else on the response team, had you in our thoughts and prayers throughout the protracted rescue effort. We are all very relieved that nobody was seriously injured, and we are all pleased that most of the stranded travelers are now home or well on their way. I can promise you all that there will be a thorough analysis of the events that led up to this incident as well as a review of what occurred over the course of the last two and a half days. I want to be certain that we do a better job the next time something like this occurs, and that we can learn from this tragedy. An incident of this size and scope demands a protracted effort by many different groups and individuals, and we have many to thank for providing assistance, be it materials, manpower or support. Here is a list of most of the agencies and companies that pitched in, to whom we are indeed grateful (our apologies for any unintentional oversights):
Alum Bank Fire Co.
American Red Cross
Bedford County 911
Bedford County Emergency Management Agency
Bedford Fire Co.
Berlin Fire & EMS
Emergency Shelters: Bedford High School, Middle School and United Methodist Church
Herring Motor Co. Towing
HMS Host Corp.
Local hotels and motels in Somerset and Bedford
New Baltimore Fire Co.
PA Department of Corrections (busses and drivers)
PA Turnpike Concession Management Department
PA Turnpike Fare Collections Department
PA Turnpike Maintenance Department
PA Turnpike Traffic Operations Center
Pennsylvania National Guard
Pennsylvania State Police Troop T and off-Turnpike Troops
Pleasantville Dollar General
Private and Public Bus Companies
Shanksville Fire Co.
Shawnee Valley Ambulance
Shawnee Valley Fire Co.
Somerset County Emergency Management Agency
Southern Cove Fire Co.
Volunteer citizens from communities along the Turnpike
All other local fire and EMS companies responding…