AVOCA — Two people were killed in a violent crash involving a tractor-trailer and a minivan that was stopped in the middle of Interstate 81 early Wednesday morning, state police at Wyoming said.
Anthony Lizza, 58, of Old Forge, driving a 2002 Ford minivan, was stopped in the middle northbound lane near the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport when the van was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer driven by Charles Brown, 62, of Sugarloaf, at about 2:30 a.m., state police said.
The impact forced the two vehicles into the median between the northbound and southbound lanes.
Lizza and Jeffrey Godeck, 52, of Moosic, were killed in the crash. Godeck was a passenger in the minivan.
The crash closed the interstate for nearly seven hours, causing a seven-mile backup.
Traffic was detoured at Exit 178-A onto state Route 315, creating traffic congestion through Dupont and Avoca.
The interstate reopened just after 10 a.m. after the wreckage had been removed and the crash reconstructed by investigators.
Southbound lanes were not affected by the crash.