New York woman killed during series of crashes on I-81 in Antrim Township

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

A New York woman was killed and her husband critically injured Sunday morning in Antrim Township during a series of multiple vehicle accidents on Interstate 81.

The four accidents, which involved nine vehicles, snarled travel in Greencastle as traffic was detoured off the interstate for much of the day.

Pennsylvania State Police said Beverly Grantier, 77, of Wellsville, N.Y., was killed in the second collision of the series that began at 9:35 a.m. Sunday near the Interstate 81 north mile marker 6 in Antrim Township. Police reported she was a passenger in the middle seat of a minivan operated by her husband, Gordon Grantier, 79, also of Wellsville. He was critically injured in the crash, according to police.

The area experienced a blowing snow storm for several hours Sunday morning.

Trooper Anthony Vaccaro reported that he found nine vehicles crashed along with numerous vehicles stuck in the median when he arrived on the scene. The trooper determined there were four individual crashes.

Vaccaro said the series of accidents started when a tractor trailer had jackknifed and blocked both north lanes of the highway. A second tractor trailer stopped in the right lane because of the jackknifed rig and was struck in the rear by another vehicle which spun into the median and rolled over.

The trooper said the stopped tractor trailer was then struck in the rear by a Chrysler Town and Country minivan operated by Gordon Grantier. Vaccaro said that crash appeared to be minor, however the van was immediately struck in the rear by a Dodge Durango. Police said Beverly Grantier died as a result of this crash.

Police said about 80 yards south of the crash, vehicles were maneuvering in all directions to avoid impacting into each other, but two more crashes occurred. A northbound Ford Explorer traveled into the median and struck a Honda Accord which was stuck there, according to police. The Explorer continued west across the highway and impacted the guardrails on the south lanes. The vehicle blocked both south lanes. The fourth accident happened when a tractor trailer traveling north struck the side of another northbound rig, locking the two vehicles together side-by-side and then crashed into a stopped Toyota Yaris.

Other injuries were reported, however police said a more detailed news release would not be issued until Monday morning.

The interstate was closed in both directions for several hours. The south lanes opened around 1:30 p.m. North lanes were closed longer as a reconstruction team worked at the scene.

Traffic was detoured off the interstate at Exit 5 in Greencastle and at the Marion exit,  creating heavy volume of vehicles on Route 16 and U.S. 11 in Greencastle. Rescue Hose Co. fire police were on duty at the intersection of Route 16 and U.S. 11.