BROOKVILLE – An Erie man was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed just before he touched off an accident on Interstate 80 between exits 78 and 81 Monday at 4:15 a.m. That accident subsequently shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 for more than four hours.
State police at DuBois reported that Rodney M. Widdowson was driving fast when he approached the North Fork Bridge while overtaking another vehicle. As Widdowson, driving a truck tractor and two trailers, approached the bridge, he apparently lost control, causing his vehicle to begin swerving erratically. His vehicle then struck the bridge and then drove onto an embankment.
It was at this time that the second trailer disengaged from the first trailer and continued along the roadway before overturning.
The tractor and trailer overturned as they were re-entering the roadway.
As all of the events were happening, an axle from the truck came loose and was run over by Christopher C. Gorski of Eagle, Wis.
Widdowson had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported to Brookville Hospital by ambulance. Police were assisted at the scene by Brookville and Pine Creek fire departments, Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services and ambulance, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation.
Police determined that Widdowson was at fault in the incident. The roadway was re-opened at 8:33 a.m.