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Turnpike Reopens After Crews Retrieve Tractor-Trailer From Turnpike Hillside

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – An 86-mile stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike reopened Thursday afternoon.

The section of road from Breezewood to New Stanton was closed so crews could remove a tractor-trailer that went over a hillside last week.

Officials say local roads just couldn't handle the volume of traffic, and the lengthy detour was needed.

"We have made the decision - in partnership with PennDOT, in partnership with state police - that we are going to use this interstate-to-interstate detour," said Carl DeFebo, of the Turnpike Commission. "Yes, it adds a number of miles and a lot of time to the trip between Bedford and New Stanton; however, it's favorable in that if there would be bad weather, if there would be high winds that we are keeping these trucks on the interstate system."

Today, crews hooked a large tow truck to the big rig and pulled it off the embankment.

The truck was hauling bulk chocolate and some of the load spilled onto the hillside.

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The big rig was dangling off an embankment along the Turnpike in Bedford County. The cab twisted sideways and the trailer was hanging by a thread.

Shortly after the accident, several bystanders jumped into action to save the trucker stuck in his cab.

"We got the driver out and a bunch of people formed a chain to pull him up onto the road. The cab is leveled. I don't know how he survived. He is not well, but he survived," Arlyn Satanek posted on his Facebook page:

The same eastbound stretch of the Turnpike had to be closed Sunday so crews could remove more than 500 snowbound vehicles from the westbound lanes.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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