2 dead in flaming 4 vehicle crash on I-81 in Schuylkill County

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BUTLER TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. – Pennsylvania State Police say two people were killed in a flaming crash involving two tractor trailers and two pickup trucks in Schuylkill County Wednesday afternoon. It happened at about 2:17 p.m. in the left lane of northbound I-81 at mile marker 121.8 in Butler Township.

Police say traffic was slowing at the due to a constructioin zone ahead. The crash occurred as the driver of a 1990 black International hauling a 1997 Fruehauf trailer struck the rear of a Nissan pickup. The pickup then struck the rear of 2002 Dodge Ram pickup. The Dodge Ram then struck the rear of the trailer of a 2005 Volvo tractor truck with a semi-trailer.

The International tractor trailer and Nissan pickup became engulfed in flames. Two people in the pickup were pronounced dead at the scene by the County Coroner.  The driver of the Dodge Ram, 24-year-old Bryan Ketcham, of Hop Bottom, Susquehanna County suffered severe injuries and was flown to a trauma center. The driver of the International tractor trailer Brian Barrett, 45, of Greentown, Pike County and the driver of the Volvo tractor trailer, Roman Zhuk, 50, of Feasterville, Bucks County, were not injured.

Northbound I-81 at mm 121.8 was closed for hours due to the crash investigation.