At least six people were killed and 65 others hospitalized in a massive wreck on I-35 in Forth Worth, Texas, early Thursday. Three of the hospitalized people are in critical condition, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. In all, 133 cars, trucks, vans, and 18-wheelers collided in the express lane amid icy weather.
"The scene we saw today is one really unlike one probably any of us have ever seen and one we pray to God we never see again," said Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes.
First responders had to use hydraulic tools to remove some people from their vehicles, and as they worked their way through the wreckage, medics marked the vehicles they searched to avoid duplicative efforts as they hurried to get people out of the sub-freezing temperatures. "I was looking in my rearview mirror and it was like watching the hand of God move these cars up around me in the ice," a driver named Shane, who stopped just short of the pileup, told the Star-Telegram. When he got out of his car on the highway, he added, "it was literally like stepping on an ice rink."
There were other deadly crashes in Texas as a frigid storm created icy conditions from Texas to southern New Jersey. In Austin, five people were sent to the hospital from a 26-car pileup, USA Today reports, and three people were killed in two crashes in Dallas late Wednesday and Thursday, one of them involving 18 vehicles. The storm also knocked out power to along the 1,500-mile stretch of storm, and 66,000 customers in Texas, 41,000 in Kentucky, and 31,000 in West Virginia were still without power late Thursday, USA Today says.