A pileup involving over 100 trucks and cars on Interstate-35W in Fort Worth has killed at least 5 people and sent at least 36 people to area hospitals. The accident left several people trapped in their cars and shut down the highway.
Officer Daniel Segura of the Fort Worth Police Department confirmed the deaths of the five people. Officials have yet to reveal the identities of the deceased and have not determined if additional people were killed during the crash.
“Information will change going throughout the day as we get more information,” Mike Drivdahl, a public information officer with the Fort Worth Fire Department, told the press. “We are going vehicle, by vehicle, to make sure that anybody that is still trapped in their vehicle has been extricated, if possible. There’s a lot of vehicles to go through.”
What Happened During the Fort Worth Pileup on I-35
Reports indicate that the accident happened at approximately 6:30 a.m. and that the pileup was likely triggered by extremely slick road conditions. Freezing rain and sleet blanketed the area until the early morning, causing hazardous conditions on roads throughout North Texas. The pileup extends from 28th Street to Northside Drive.
A video posted by a witness traveling on the opposite side of the highway shows vehicles continuously slamming into each other as they slide across the iced-over highway. Eventually, a large FedEx 18-wheeler slams into the pile, obliterating the cars in front of it and popping up and over other vehicles.
Photos from the scene show trucks and cars smashed and stacked on top of each other. Some of the vehicles appear as a barely recognizable heap of twisted metal. Conditions on the road were so severe that responders initially had trouble reaching the scene of the accident.
“First responders actually had difficulty getting to the vehicles,” said Drivdahl. “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.”
It’s so cold in the area that officials are warning paramedics and other first responders about hypothermia and are worried about those still stuck in their vehicle suffering from the effects of it.
According to a local ambulance operator, at least 14 ambulances were used to transport 36 injured individuals—several with serious injuries—to the hospital. However, officials have yet to confirm how many people sustained injuries during the massive crash. Reports indicate that medics are finding new victims every few minutes as they work their way through the wreckage.
Our team will continue to follow updates about this accident.