A man was killed after an electrical conduit fell from the Lehigh Tunnel in Pennsylvania before crashing through his windshield and striking him.
Authorities are still searching for what caused the conduit to fall from the ceiling area on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The tunnel was at Turnpike’s Northeast Extension.
Howard Sexton, 70, of New Jersey, was driving a tractor-trailer at the time of the incident. The Lehigh County coroner pronounced him dead at the scene at around 10:20 p.m, according to WFMZ-TV.
NBC Philadelphia reported that Sexton continued to drive through the tunnel, despite being struck in the head, before he finally pulled over in an emergency stopping lane, Pennsylvania State Police said.
The truck driver’s family said he had planned on retiring this summer.
Multiple vehicles sustained minor damage from the debris of the wreck.
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) February 22, 2018
The accident caused a major traffic closure that lasted from Wednesday 6:15 p.m. to Thursday morning, according to The Morning Call.
“There was a conduit that had come down and struck some of the vehicles,” a state trooper told the newspaper. “Multiple vehicles actually ran into it. They [Turnpike authorities] did a detour to replace that conduit.”
There were no reports of any other injuries.
A spokesman for the turnpike tunnel said it was the only tunnel in the system that had electrical conduits directly exposed above the drivers, NBC10 reported. In older tunnels, the pipes are placed in a parallel maintenance tunnel.
An autopsy set for this Friday will be conducted to determine Sexton’s exact cause of death.
An investigation is being conducted by the coroner’s office and Pennsylvania State Police.