Texas Car Pileup


Brandon Chan, Staff Writer

Last week on Feb. 11, on an icy Fort Worth, Texas interstate freeway, approximately 133 cars, trucks, and automobiles crashed and piled up, resulting in six deaths and many more injuries. More than 30 people were transported to nearby hospitals, and it took about five hours to get the crash sorted out. Fire crews used hydraulic rescue equipment to rescue some of the drivers, and buses were also utilized to keep everyone out of the cold. First responders arrived at 6 a.m. and immediately knew this pileup was caused by the cold weather that Texas doesn’t normally receive. 

Overnight, the freezing rain and sleet caused a type of ice, known as black ice, to form on the ground. Black ice is a transparent coating of ice on the ground that causes wheels to become slippery for cars, which is deadly for drivers who have little to no control of their cars’ brakes. 

“Since black ice is highly transparent, it is unlikely you’ll be able to see it while driving down the road,” reported The Weather Channel. “Roadways become very slippery when black ice forms, leading to hazardous driving conditions and an increased risk of car accidents.”

Fort Worth, the location of this massive pileup, and other Central and Northern parts of Texas were under winter weather advisory. 

“Police in nearby Arlington said they responded to 82 crashes before 9 a.m., and in Dallas, three people were killed and another person was hospitalized in critical condition in two separate collisions around midnight,” NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported. 

Some videos of the accident have surfaced online, with people pointing fingers towards the huge trucks that seemingly didn’t stop and crashed full speed into other cars. However, as weather experts, the police department, and others have stated, this weather phenomenon rarely happens in Texas and the crash couldn’t have been prevented. 

“Our thoughts are with the families of those involved in deadly crashes across the state in this tragic winter weather event. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is committed to the safety of drivers. During all winter weather events, TxDOT undertakes proactive, advanced measures such as pretreating its roads, which can help prevent ice from sticking to the roadway,” TxDOT said in a statement.  “Conditions on roadways can change rapidly, and unfortunately, even with proactive measures the unpredictable and fast-changing severe Texas weather can still result in some ice accumulating.”

Hopefully everyone involved in this car pileup is as safe as possible.


Photo courtesy of NYTIMES.COM