New Hampshire

‘It Happened So Fast': NH Couple Recalls Deadly Pa. Pileup

Bill Wickwire was unhurt in the 60-car pileup in Pennsylvania, but his wife, Janet, suffered a broken nose and three broken ribs; the New Hampshire couple is grateful to survive the crash that killed six people

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A New Hampshire couple caught in the middle of a deadly 60-car pileup in Pennsylvania is now telling their harrowing story.

On Monday, after spending the winter in South Carolina, Bill and Janet Wickwire started their journey home to New Hampshire.

"Unfortunately for us, we should've picked a different day," said Bill Wickwire.

They drove straight into a snowsquall on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania.

"It happened so fast, you didn't get a chance to think," he explained. "The car just slid and the next thing I know, I was being bounced all over the place."

Their Subaru was smashed up and sandwiched between two tractor-trailers as cars and trucks continued to pile up.

"Every time there was a collision, it sounded like someone fired a 12-gauge shotgun," Wickwire explained. "It went on for over five minutes and all you could hear were these cars slamming into each other."

With upwards of 60 vehicles involved, first responders were overwhelmed and calling for anyone to help.

Wickwire says it was nearby Wegmans employees who pulled him and his wife from their mangled vehicle.

"They were so kind, it was just something good to see — you don't see it too much anymore," Wickwire said as he held back tears.

The 81-year-old Navy veteran is OK, but his wife has a broken nose and three broken ribs.

"I watched some of the video and I can't believe what happened," he said. "It's amazing that we walked away from there."

Authorities are now saying six people were killed, making the Wickwires feel like their survival story is nothing short of a miracle.

"God was looking after us," Wickwire said. "Where we wound up, between those two trucks, it was like they were put there to protect us."

The Wickwires are staying with family in Pennsylvania right now, but hoping Janet is well enough to travel back home to New Hampshire within a week.

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