A massive pile-up involving nearly 70 vehicles, including a fuel tanker truck that plummeted off a bridge and exploded, left two people dead and dozens of others injured on I-95 in Baltimore Saturday morning.
Baltimore authorities investigating the deadly pileup haven’t determined what might have set off the chain reaction of crashes, but they took place at a time when ice and arctic temperatures caused havoc on interstates and roads across much of the country.
Maryland Department of Transportation officials said that 68 vehicles were involved in the pileup.
A man identified as Marvellous Amasiatu was filming traffic on I-95, saying that drivers didn’t realize how slippery the roads were and slamming on brakes when the fuel tanker truck lost control a few yards in front of him. His footage shows the rear of the tanker as its brakes, then sideswipes a concrete Jersey barrier before rolling over it and exploding on the street below.
The driver of the fuel truck was one of the two people killed in the pileup. Dozens of others were injured. Maryland Medical Center reported having seven patients in shock trauma, including four in critical condition and two in serious. Several others were reportedly in serious condition at other hospitals.
According to WJZ Baltimore, the city’s “Emergency Management called the pileup the worst accident in Baltimore’s recent history, considering the sheer number of people involved.”
The chain-reaction crash brought the nation’s busiest interstate to a standstill for several hours as crews worked to remove smashed vehicles from the area near the Washington Blvd. exit.
Severe winter weather has contributed to major traffic pile-ups in other parts of the country. On Dec. 8, a 75-vehicle pileup in Ohio involving more than a dozen tractor trailers and a commercial bus injured more than 20 people. Snow and freezing temperatures also contributed to a deadly 53-vehicle pileup on I-96 near Fowlerville, Mich., that killed three people and injured nearly a dozen others.
Additional pileups and other major weather-related traffic crashes occurred in New Mexico, Virginia, other parts of Maryland, and North Carolina last week resulting in multiple fatalities.