Double fatal closes I-81 in South Middleton Township

Two people are dead in a head on crash involving  a tractor trailer and along Interstate 81 in Cumberland County.  It happened at about 1:36 pm in the northbound lanes at mile marker 47.5 in South Middleton Township.

Preliminary reports are that a southbound SUV crossed the grassy median strip and slammed head on into a northbound tractor trailer. The driver of the SUV, a 26 year old Carlisle man and the driver of the tractor, a 42 year old New Jersey man, were killed.  A passenger in the tractor trailer, a 55 year old New Jersey man, was airlifted to Hershey Medical Center.  The driver of a second tractor trailer behind the first, a 27 year old man from Georgia, swerved to avoid the crash and ran off the road coming to rest tilted on an embankment. That driver was not injured.

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A PennDOT spokesman says that section of the highway will be closed for hours to allow a Pennsylvania State Police accident reconstruction team to investigate.

Northbound traffic on I-81 is being detoured by way of Route 34 at Exit 47 to Route 641 in the Borough of Carlisle and onto Route 641 back to I-81 at Exit 49.