A 133-car pileup on icy Interstate 35 in Fort Worth Thursday resulted in six deaths, at least three dozen injured, many of them critically, with dozens more requiring some form of medical treatment.
The Fort Worth Fire Department declared the Feb. 11 accident a “mass casualty incident,” meaning first responders were overwhelmed when they arrived on the scene around 6 a.m.
Nearly a dozen semis caused extensive damage
The horrifying video showed several semi trucks slamming into cars and other big rigs as they were unable to stop on the icy roadway. Pictures on social media detailed the damage, as passenger cars and trucks were crushed beyond recognition.
By mid-Thursday morning, police and ambulance crews were still trying to get to victims, and by the afternoon, ambulances had transported 65 people to nearby hospitals for treatment. At a news conference, officials repeatedly asked for prayers for the victims’ families.
Freezing rain is being blamed
The chain-reaction crash was the result of freezing rain across the region overnight. Officials with North Tarrant Express, where the crash happened on I-35, said maintenance crews had been treating area roadways since Tuesday in preparation for icy conditions.
The Fort Worth Fire Department says it will conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash, including the actions of road maintenance crews. Five of the six victims who died have been identified. Four were from Texas, one was from Hawaii, and the other deceased victim’s name had not yet been released as of Friday morning.