Officials: Human remains found at I-95 collapse site; traffic to remain impacted
Human remains have been found at the site of a collapse on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
Officials say that the driver of a tractor-trailer hauling gasoline lost control on an off-ramp and flipped the tanker truck on its side. The tanker caught fire and destroyed a section of the highway.
The body, which was recovered from the wreckage, has been turned over to the Philadelphia medical examiner and coroner. Authorities are in the process of identifying the remains, according to police.
Several Philadelphia media outlets are reporting that the driver has been identified as Nathaniel Moody.
This portion of I-95 remains closed and likely will for some time, according to officials.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation says that people traveling from New Jersey to Philadelphia should follow the posted detours between Exit 22 on Interstate 676 and Exit 35 on Route 63.
The closure is expected to impact traveling around New Jersey a nightmare for a while.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro signed a disaster declaration Monday, saying it gives state agencies the ability to skip normal bidding-and-contracting requirements so the span can be repaired faster.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pledged $7 million to Philadelphia to rebuild the section of the highway.
"This is not just about commutes, this is also about supply chains. About 150,000 vehicles a day and a good percentage of that is trucking. So obviously for both vehicle passenger traffic and for goods movement, supply chains, this is going to be a major disruption in that region,” the secretary said.
Gov. Phil Murphy also weighed in on the situation.
“It’s going to be more traffic on our roads for sure. it's a pretty devastating collapse, so you just look at the pictures and it’s pretty clear this is not something they're going to fix in just days,” he said.
The collapsed section of I-95 was part of a $212 million reconstruction project that wrapped up four years ago, Pennsylvania Transportation Department spokesman Brad Rudolph said. PennDOT rated the 104-foot span as in “good” condition earlier this year, with another inspection set for 2025.
A website has been set up to provide the public with updates on the repairs.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.