Six Dead, Dozens Injured After Icy Roads Cause Pileup in Fort Worth

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Jacqueline Howett, Staff Writer

 Six people died and dozens were injured on Feb. 11 after more than 130 cars were involved in a pileup on I-35W in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

   26 Fire Department vehicles, 80 police cars and 13 ambulances were at the scene. 36 people were taken to local hospitals while 65 people were treated for their injuries on-scene or by going to a local hospital themselves. The six victims were identified and their families have been notified.

 

   According to MedStar — a healthcare company responsible for treating those injured — spokesman Matt Zavadsky, a large number of people involved in the accident were health care workers.

 

   Most people were able to get out of or be pulled from their vehicles, and first responders were able to treat numerous people within the first hour. However, untangling the vehicles and removing them from the highway will take days.

 

   “This is the beginning of what’s likely to be a very long weather weekend for us here in North Texas, and it is really important that people not go out and drive if they don’t have to,” Zavadsky said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News.

 

   While the cause of the accident is still under investigation, there have been allegations that the stretch of interstate where the crash occurred had not been properly treated after frozen rain coated the roads. This was due to the treacherous weather conditions which have been occurring in the northern Texas region— a cluster of storms were expected to produce up to a quarter-inch of freezing rain and sleet.

 

   “If this is true, regardless if it is the responsibility of a private entity to treat the North Tarrant Express, it is wholly unacceptable,” Texas House Transportation Chair Terry Canales said in a statement following the accident.

 

   The record-breaking temperatures and snow storms have caused unsafe conditions for Texans, with more accidents occurring and also leaving hundreds of thousands without power. President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration for Texas on Feb. 14, adding federal aid to state and local response efforts.

   “This is a very traumatic event for everyone involved, from the first responders to the people in the wreck to the survivors,” Officer Jimmy Pollozani said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. “All we ask is that all of the city of Fort Worth come together and pray for these families during such a traumatic event.”