SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — On Monday morning, Ann White was in the home stretch of her long trip from Florida back to her home in Vermont. Travelling north on Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County, she spotted a few snowflakes.
When you're in flurries and it's not sticking, you keep going. Then, the next thing you know, it was whiteout conditions," she said.
White says she turned on her flashers and looked for a place to pull over.
"I was driving about 25 or 30 mph because I couldn't see, and then the next thing I did see was a tractor-trailer across the road with a couple of cars already hit it. I hit my brakes, nothing happened. I try to steer the car away from the cars, and I believe I hit the tractor-trailer," she added.
Trapped in her car, she was hit at least 10 times by oncoming vehicles.
"I said, don't let me survive this crash only to be taken out by the car slamming into me. I didn't know whether they were semis plowing into me," White explained.
When she heard explosions and saw flames shooting into the air, she knew it was time to get out. Rescuers pulled her through the front windshield.
The 80 year old miraculously escaped with a scrape and a broken lens on her glasses.
White and at least 13 others were bused to a fire station in Minersville and spent the night in local hotels with help from the American Red Cross.
Her kids drove down from Vermont to pick her up and help her retrieve personal items, scouring the tow lots where so many mangled vehicles ended up.
"Medicine is the biggie. I mean, I'm sure I could call my doctor, find a drugstore, but I know my car is here. I know it's close," she said.
As White put it, she's thankful it wasn't her time to go.
The remnants of this wreck are still very much here.
That thick black layer of debris in the area where the fire began will certainly have to be cleaned up before the northbound lanes can open.
State police have yet to say if any more bodies were pulled from the wreckage.
Working to remove wreckage from pileup: