Truck swerves to avoid wrong-way driver, spills trash on 222

'This tractor trailer might have hit her head on'

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - An accident involving a wrong-way driver and a tractor trailer that swerved to avoid her made a mess of traffic on Route 222 in Berks County.

The accident happened shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes of 222, near the Route 61 interchange, in Muhlenberg Township.

What led up to the crash, however, began a few miles south of that location, when a woman drove her car the wrong way onto Route 222.

"She made it all the way from somewhere in Spring Township, all the way up here to Muhlenberg Township," said Muhlenberg police Sgt. Joel Marino.

Police said they received multiple calls from other motorists reporting the wrong-way driver, but there wasn't enough time to stop her as she approached Route 61. That's where, police said, the tractor trailer's driver swerved to avoid impact and ended up rolling his rig onto its side in the grassy median.

"This tractor trailer might have hit her head on, which would have been real bad for everybody involved," Marino said.

The crash caused the truck, which was traveling from Allentown to Birdsboro, to spill part of its load of trash onto the northbound side of the highway.

"He got off the shoulder here and just banked over, and he was loaded and it upset the truck, and this is where it ended," said Nicholas Grimm, a representative of Luzerne County-based Franzosa Trucking. "It's just garbage heading to the landfill."

As a result of the spill, northbound traffic was diverted off Route 222 at Route 183 in Bern Township for nearly an hour while crews worked to clear part of the scene and the backlog of traffic between the two interchanges.

Only one lane of travel was open in both directions until the scene could be completely cleared later in the afternoon.

The truck's driver reportedly suffered only minor injuries in the accident.

"He was on his way to the hospital," Grimm told 69 News. "He is talking. I think everything's going to be OK."

As for the wrong-way driver, police said they managed to stop her near the Walmart on Allentown Pike in Muhlenberg Township. They have not said what charges, if any, she is facing.

"She is being evaluated at the moment," Marino said.

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