NTSB’s preliminary report on dead pileup on I-35W in Fort Worth
Officials said two of the victims died after getting out of their vehicles and being hit by other cars. Four of the victims were in their vehicles.
FORT WORTH, Texas – Editor’s Note: The video above is dated February 12, 2021.
A preliminary report released Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board provides new details about the chain reaction accident that occurred on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth in February.
Six people were killed in the Feb. 11 buildup, which involved nearly 130 vehicles, including several 18-wheelers. According to the NTSB report, two of the victims died after getting out of their vehicles and being hit on the street. The other four deceased remained in their vehicles. These details were only released on Wednesday.
A likely cause of the fatal crash was not made public in the new report. According to the NTSB, the crash scene in the lanes of the North Tarrant Express was about 300 meters long.
The six victims who died in the crash include:
- Tiffany Gerred, 34, of Fort Worth
- Aaron Watson, 45, from Fort Worth
- Tamara, Mendoza Querales, 46
- Christopher Vardy, 49, from Boyd, Texas
- Michael Wells, 47, from Justin, Texas
- William Williams, 54, from Pahoa, Hawaii
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Thirty-six other people were taken to local hospitals because of their injuries. However, no children were injured in the crash, according to Matt Zavadsky of MedStar Health.
“For many of us this is a career event,” said Zavadsky. “We train for this kind of scenario, but you never really expect it to happen.”
Fort Worth Fire Department Engineer Mike Drivdahl echoed that sentiment when he spoke of the first responders working on the scene.
“Many of them will never see an event like this again,” he said.
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In the days leading up to the massive crash, the Dallas-Fort Worth area had seen freezing temperatures for 36 hours in a row.
In the days that followed, the state experienced a major winter storm in which millions of Texans lost electricity for days and the state’s electricity grid came down within minutes of it completely collapsing. This led to other problems such as the indication of boiling water and food shortages in grocery stores.
RELATED: Texas winter storm death toll rises to 111, including 3 people who died in Dallas County
About four hours before the February 11 crash, the weather station at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport reported light freezing rain and freezing fog, the NTSB said.
According to the report, North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners’ segments 3 pretreated two toll lanes going south with an ice cutter brine solution at around 10.15am on February 9th.
At around 3:40 am on the day of the crash, the message “Icy conditions exist / Please be careful” appeared on the message signs managed by NTEMP S3. Displayed.
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According to the NTSB report, the news was based on information from an earlier crash at 3:08 a.m. when the road conditions were icy on I-35W and Western Center Boulevard, about five miles north of the crash site.
The NTSB said the NTEMP S3 was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the I-35W’s right of way. This included toll lanes, generally used lanes and front roads.
The NTSB released a Google Earth map of the crash scene in the following report on Wednesday:
The NTSB said it will continue to focus its investigation on examining the road treatment strategies used to cope with freezing conditions.
NTSB on Wednesday released the preliminary report for the ongoing investigation into the multi-vehicle accident of February 11, 2021 at I-35W in Fort Worth, Texas. https://t.co/3tN3E9B3dp. The investigation continues to focus on the treatment of the road surface.
– NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) April 21, 2021