At least five people were killed in crashes that involved up to 100 vehicles on a Texas interstate Thursday morning, the authorities said, as a slurry of winter weather made for slick roads, patches of ice and dangerous driving conditions.
Multiple people were also trapped in their vehicles by the crashes, which took place along Interstate 35 in Fort Worth and included cars and 18-wheeler trucks, according to the Fort Worth Fire Department. Videos broadcast by local TV stations showed cars piled on top of each another, tractor-trailers rolled onto their sides and other vehicles spun out all over the road.
It was not immediately clear how many people were injured, said Brad Perez, a spokesman for the Fort Worth Police Department. Between 75 to 100 vehicles were involved in the accident, he said.
In a video shared on Twitter, Officer Daniel Segura called the crash a “massive accident pileup.” He added that “the weather is still very aggressive, so keep your distance.”
All northbound lanes of the interstate were closed because of “a major accident due to weather,” the Police Department said, and the highway was backed up in both directions for long distances.
“Seek alternate route,” the department urged travelers.
The Fort Worth police also set up a site for families to pick up and meet drivers and passengers who were involved in the pileup.
Wintry weather conditions probably contributed to the accidents, leaving roads slick and icy. Temperatures were in the upper 20s Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service, which had issued a winter weather advisory through noon for the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
A cluster of storms was expected to produce moderate or heavy freezing rain and sleet with accumulations of up to a quarter-inch, the Weather Service said.
“Expect dangerous travel conditions,” the service said, warning that the ice was in patches and difficult to see.
“We can’t stress enough that road conditions could go from good to dangerous within blocks,” the service said.
The nearby Arlington Police Department reported that it had at least 23 crashes and that officers were helping five drivers whose cars were disabled or had spun out.
Chief Al Jones of the Arlington Police Department also said that one of his patrol cars was struck by another driver after midnight on Thursday because of icy conditions. The officer, who was not injured, was not in the vehicle at the time. In all, the department had responded to at least 82 crashes since Wednesday night, he said.
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