Beaumont: Two people died and more than 80 people were hurt on Thursday when at least 140 vehicles collided in south-east Texas in a pile-up that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage.
The collision occurred in extremely foggy conditions at about 8.45am Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 10 south-west of Beaumont, about 80 miles east of Houston.
A man and a woman were killed in a Chevy Suburban SUV crushed by a tractor trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety told KFDM-TV.
DPS trooper Stephanie Davis identified the dead as Debra Leggio, 60, and Vincent Leggio, 64.
Jefferson County sheriff’s Deputy Rod Carroll said in a news release that 80 to 90 people were transported to hospitals with 10 to 12 of those in serious to critical condition. He said 140 to 150 vehicles were involved in the pile-up.
According to DPS, a crash on the eastbound side of the highway led to other accidents in a dangerous chain reaction. There were multiple crashes on the other side of the highway as well.
Carroll said the fog was so thick that deputies did not immediately realise they were dealing with multiple accidents.
“It is catastrophic,” Carroll said. “I’ve got cars on top of cars.”
I-10’s eastbound lanes were re-opened on Thursday evening after more than eight hours.
Davis told KFDM that two people in an SUV died after the crash.
Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to help as authorities sorted through the wreckage.
“It’s just people helping people,” Carroll said. “The foremost thing in this holiday season is how other travellers were helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure on people that were injured.”