Investigators say Wednesday morning’s snowfall was a factor leading to a fatal eight-vehicle pileup that shut down eastbound traffic along Interstate 80 in Mercer County for nearly twelve hours.

The latest media release from the Pennsylvania State Police says that shortly before 6 a.m., a tractor-trailer slid on the snow-covered highway, crashing into a ditch, with its trailer partially blocking both lanes about a mile west of the Mercer interchange.

A second tractor-trailer struck the first trailer, causing it to block both lanes, according to Troopers.

That’s when a third tractor-trailer, attempting to avoid a collision, went into a skid, striking the first tractor-trailer.

Two cars and a Mercedes Benz SUV ran into the third tractor-trailer.

A fourth tractor-trailer struck one of the cars and pinned the SUV whose driver was injured, while a passenger, 34-year-old Anthony Eugene Mallory of Rochester, New York died at the scene.

Two other people were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Seven vehicles in all were involved, six of which were heavily damaged. Only the first tractor-trailer that started the chain reaction received moderate damage.

The accident remains under investigation by the State Police.