Mass Casualty Incident in Fort Worth, Texas

February 11th, 2021|Trucking Accidents|

On February 11, 2021, at around 6:00 a.m., more than 130 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup on I-35 in Fort Worth, Texas.  The massive car pileup stretched an estimated 1.5 miles long.

As of the writing of this article, six people have been confirmed dead, more than sixty-five people were injured, and more than one hundred others were left stranded in the cold.  At least one person at the scene reported hearing drivers screaming from their cars.  Some victims of the crash remained trapped in their vehicles for hours until they were safely loaded on a bus to avoid hypothermia.

On information and belief, the families involving those who were injured in the 130-car pileup in Fort Worth, Texas were being reunited with their loved ones at Riverside Center at 3700 E. Belknap Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76111.

I-35 is one of the busiest interstates that runs from Minnesota to Texas.  In Texas, I-35 stretches from Gainesville to Laredo (just before the Mexico border).  An officer with more than 20 years of serving as a first responder said that he had never seen something like this before in his career.  As a result of the wreckage, dozens of first responders have been called to the scene and worked tirelessly to help those who were injured.

While these massive pileups—often involving dozens of 18-wheelers—are rare, they are not unheard of in Texas.  In fact, just before midnight, there was an 18-car pileup in Dallas on Interstate 45 and Lamar Street.  According to officials, the incident started with one crash but quickly turned into a massive pileup.  Unfortunately, this massive pileup led to one person’s tragic death as he was hit while standing outside of his vehicle.  Many others were also injured as a result of this accident.

Additionally, a separate crash involving a FedEx 18-wheeler flipped over while driving on Interstate 30 earlier today, resulting in injuries to multiple parties.

On November 22, 2012 (Thanksgiving Day), there was a 140-vehicle pileup on eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 that occurred right on the outskirts of Beaumont, Texas.  This catastrophic accident inevitably resulted in the tragic loss for some who were involved, dozens of personal injury claims, and much complex litigation. In that accident, there was a heavy settled fog making it nearly impossible to see ahead and watch for other vehicles.  In fact, some experts stated that visibility was as low as an eighth of a mile at the time of the catastrophic collision.  While some argued that the cause of the accident was an “act of God” or “unavoidable,” others found that there were measures that could have been taken to prevent the accident from happening (as argued by one of the decedent’s attorney against the 18-wheeler company for failure to properly train its truck operators to drive in extreme weather conditions).

Many argue that these incidents are rare and unlikely to occur on Texas highways given Texas’ mild winters.  Unfortunately, this is not completely accurate. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the last deathless day on Texas roadways was November 7, 2000 (more than 20 years ago).  On average, 10 people die every day in crashes while traveling on Texas roadways.

What are some of the common causes of tragic car accidents?

  • Speeding (#1 cause of car accidents in Texas)
  • Driver inattentiveness
  • Inadequate training (especially where commercial vehicles hauling loads that can easily weigh more than 50,000 pounds)
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving in dangerous conditions
  • Failure to adapt/adjust to current weather conditions
  • Failure to maintain vehicle and tires in good condition
  • Failure to yield
  • Icy conditions (e.g., black ice)
  • Mechanical problems
  • Poor judgment
  • Overworked, tired drivers

What Should I Do If I Was Involved In A Catastrophic 18-wheeler Accident?

If you or a loved one was involved in a catastrophic 18-wheeler accident you should consider discussing your rights with a law firm experienced in handling tragic 18-wheeler accidents.  During a free consultation, the 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can help provide you with critical information and legal advice as you seek to receive maximum compensation for your loss.  To discuss your legal rights, call 800-489-2216 or fill out our contact form online today.