Jefferson County, TX — A 100-car pileup in Texas has left at least two people dead and more than 80 injured as people traveling along Interstate 10 ran into dense fog Thursday morning.
Reports began coming in mid-morning indicating multiple cars were involved in a wreck on the highway’s eastbound lanes near Beaumont in Jefferson County, reports CNN. Stephanie Davis, a Texas Highway Patrol Officer, stated:
“Initial reports at the time of the crash indicated there was dense fog, which could be a contributing factor to those crashes.”
Davis added that the two fatalities, a man and a woman, occurred in the same vehicle, an SUV that had crashed into a tractor-trailer. Their names have not been released pending family notification.
Video of the 100-car pileup shows badly damaged vehicles on top of each other and mangled tractor-trailers and FedEx trucks. Several people who appeared to be injured were seen stretched out in grass near the highway and on ambulance gurneys.
They have not determined exactly how many are injured, but Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff Rod Carroll estimates that there were between 80 and 120 people hurt that were taken from the scene. The most seriously injured are being transferred to hospitals in Houston, which is 75 miles away.
NBC News notes that Carroll added at least eight of the injured are in serious condition. He added, “We have 18-wheelers on top of cars, we have cars on top of cars. It’s just catastrophic.”
There were two initial accidents that took place separately roughly a mile apart on the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-10. The highway was also crowded at the time with Thanksgiving travelers. Most motorists were still driving close to the 70 mph posted speed, despite the dense fog that provided limited visibility.
Both directions of the interstate were closed following the 100-car pileup,. The westbound lanes have since been reopened, but the eastbound lanes are expected to be closed for hours longer while authorities continue to investigate and clean up the massive accident.