More than 130 vehicles were involved in a deadly crash on Interstate 35 in Fort Worth, Texas yesterday. The highway had to be shut down and people were trapped in their vehicles. The chain reaction accident happened early in the morning after precipitation left the roads with a slick coating of ice in spite of efforts to pretreat the roadways in the area in anticipation of the sleet, rain and cold temperatures.
Cars, 18-wheeler trucks and other vehicles slammed into one another in one of the worst pileups the area has seen. Images from the scene show vehicles piled up, one on top of another and trailers tipped over. “First responders actually had difficulty getting to the vehicles,” said the Fort Worth Fire spokesperson Mike Drivdahl in a statement. “As they were making their way on the freeway to get to those vehicles it is very slippery. We did have to get quite a bit of sand out here. We did everything we could to get as much traction as possible.”
Six people died as a result of the accident, 36 injured and required hospitalization and 65 people sought medical attention.
The Texas Department of Transportation released this statement:
Our thoughts are with the families of those involved in deadly crashes across the state in this tragic winter weather event TxDOT is committed to the safety of drivers. During all winter weather events, TxDOT undertakes proactive, advance measures such as pretreating its roads, which can help prevent ice from sticking to the roadway.
Conditions on roadways can change rapidly, and unfortunately, even with proactive measures the unpredictable and fast-changing severe Texas weather can still result in some ice accumulating.
As we have done since earlier this week, TxDOT will continue to inform drivers on weather and road conditions; encourage them to only travel when necessary; and drive to the conditions on the roadway.