Fort Worth authorities report that icy conditions likely played a role in a massive, 100-vehicle pile-up on I-35. Following the accident, drivers were trapped in their cars, 5 died, and at least 36 were taken to hospitals in the area.
A Snapshot Into the Multiple-Vehicle Pile-Up
Early on Thursday morning, freezing rain and sleet made roads throughout Texas hazardous to drivers and pedestrians alike. By 6:30 a.m., those dangerous conditions reportedly caused a 100–vehicle pile-up on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth. First responders labeled the crash a “mass casualty incident”.
Following the collision, emergency officials and police moved from vehicle to vehicle to check for victims, many of whom were trapped inside their cars due to the wreckage.
After the crash, all lanes of Interstate 35 were closed from near the 28th Street bridge. The closure led to I-35 being backed up in both directions. Emergency officials remained on the scene as of 10:30 Thursday morning.
The crash resulted in a massive pile of wreckage for responders to sift through for survivors. 18-wheelers, some of which were themselves transporting more vehicles, were smashed and sent piling on top of each other and smaller cars.
So far, no emergency responders have been injured in the rescue effort, but conditions are dangerous. Not only is hypothermia a possibility for responders and victims, but the condition of the roadway itself makes moving around the scene hazardous.
In fact, some of the medical personnel on the scene were there specifically to provide emergency medical care to the first-responders working in the incredibly dangerous wreckage.
“First responders actually had difficulty getting to the vehicles. As they were making their way on the freeway to get to those vehicles it is very slippery,” Drivdahl reported to CBS reporters there. “We did have to get quite a bit of sand out here…we did everything we could to get as much traction as possible.”
Due to the massive number of affected individuals, 14 ambulances were dispatched to the scene. Medstar Mobile Healthcare informed reporters that 36 people were transported via ambulance, some to trauma centers for serious injuries. At least some of those victims involved were critically injured.
Those who were involved in the crash in minor ways who were not injured are being asked to continue safely off the interstate and exchange information when possible. Those who are searching for family members who may have been affected are advised to go to the “family reunification” center at the Riverside Community Center at 3700 East Belknap.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns to ensure your rights to compensation are protected.